cNet: Is Google's Eric Schmidt The Next David Geffen?
February 4, 2009 at 6:35 AM (PT)
For several years, YOUTUBE has been a disruptive force in film and television. Now music poobahs are wondering what designs GOOGLE may have on their businesses, writes CNET NEWS. Three of the four largest recording companies are in talks to renegotiate music-licensing deals with GOOGLE's YOUTUBE. SONY MUSIC is very near to inking a YOUTUBE agreement, say industry sources. Meanwhile, YOUTUBE has reportedly started to generate "tens of millions" for some of the labels.
At the same time, the music store AMAZON.COM created on ANDROID, GOOGLE's mobile-phone operating system, is leading to big music sales. GOOGLE declined to provide numbers or to comment for this story, but sources say that the labels are "very happy" with ANDROID's songs sales. In addition, GOOGLE could one day tap into a huge market by helping people discover and buy music using search, according to SUSAN KEVORKIAN, an analyst with research firm IDC.
Incredibly, GOOGLE CEO ERIC SCHMIDT, a lifelong technologist, could find himself becoming an accidental music industry titan, a sort of digital-age DAVID GEFFEN or AHMET ETEGUN. GOOGLE, of course, has many challenges ahead of it before executives there wield that kind of influence.
Studies show that sales of mobile music will skyrocket in the next two years. Songs purchased via handsets will reach $7.3 billion by 2011, nearly equal to that of digital downloads, according to a report from EMARKETER. Together, they are expected to make up 56% of total music sales.