Feeds

Hidden in plain view: Google Music's stealth infrastructure

Catalog and payments? Check...

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

Along with world+dog, I overlooked very something important this week. I was wondering why, to launch its new music service, Google would want to get into the messy and thankless business of administering rights. Best to leave the region-by-region haggles to someone else, I reckoned.

But Google is already in the business of administering music rights - and nobody's noticed yet, because it's hidden in plain view.

It's called YouTube AudioSwap, and it's really quite clever. When you upload a video to YouTube with a music soundtrack, you can opt for your low bitrate version to be replaced by a superior quality master recording from Google's own extensive collection of master recordings. What's that, you ask - you're saying that Google has an extensive collection of master recordings already? Indeed it does. Fully licensed, with publishing information.

Some might call this a catalog.

As my source reminds me, this in itself is a considerable achievement. Probably on a par with the investment chucked at any music startup in recent years.

But it's also more than that - Google is not only serving up the bits, but gradually acquiring a master database of who owns what. Thanks to historical fragmentation, inertia and incompetence, this is something the music business hasn't quite gotten round to doing for itself yet.

YouTube is already the world's most popular destination for music - the global jukebox, if you will. And if they continue to snooze, creators will one day wake up and discover that there is but one digital music performing rights society in the world, and it's housed in a Chocolate Factory. And they'll receive whatever the Oompa Loompa feel they're entitled to receive.

Books was just a dry run.

Managers like to complain about performing rights organisations' black boxes. They forget the biggest Black Box in the world is Google's advertising system - the one it misleadingly describes as an auction. Get up to speed here. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Sonos AXES support for Apple's iOS4 and 5
Want to use your iThing? You can't - it's too old
Amazon says Hachette should lower ebook prices, pay authors more
Oh yeah ... and a 30% cut for Amazon to seal the deal
Philip K Dick 'Nazi alternate reality' story to be made into TV series
Amazon Studios, Ridley Scott firm to produce The Man in the High Castle
Too many IT conferences to cover? MICROSOFT to the RESCUE!
Yet more word of cuts emerges from Redmond
Joe Average isn't worth $10 a year to Mark Zuckerberg
The Social Network deflates the PC resurgence with mobile-only usage prediction
Chips are down at Broadcom: Thousands of workers laid off
Cellphone baseband device biz shuttered
Feel free to BONK on the TUBE, says Transport for London
Plus: Almost NOBODY uses pay-by-bonk on buses - Visa
Twitch rich as Google flicks $1bn hitch switch, claims snitch
Gameplay streaming biz and search king refuse to deny fresh gobble rumors
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.