Record Labels Angry Over Google’s Music Beta

Google Music BetaGoogle launched a beta version of its Music online media storage service earlier this week, and the reaction from record labels has been less than friendly. The music companies had been hoping to strike licensing deals with Google, and were disappointed when the Internet search giant chose to launch Music Beta without any agreements in place, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

Music Beta lets users upload music to an online server where it can be played back in a Web browser or through an Android OS-based app. The service is free for now, but eventually Google plans to charge customers a fee.

Negotiations between Google and the record labels apparently failed for several reasons, not the least of which was Google’s own indecision. The company continually changed its online music plans, forcing additional discussions with labels.

The music companies wanted licensing fees upfront from Google, and kept raising their figures when they found out competitors had negotiated better deals. They also wanted to use the negotiations to force Google to block music piracy sites from showing up in Web searches.

Ultimately, Google chose to walk away from the negotiation table and launch its online Music storage service without features that might require record label licensing deals.

The reaction from record labels to Google’s new service wasn’t exactly warm. “People are pissed,” one major record label source said.