Google has signed a multi-territory licensing deal with a conglomerate of European music publishers called Armonia, giving the internet giant access to over 5.5 million works for online and mobile use.
The deal (pdf) was inked on the first of the month, and covers content usage for Google Music Play and Locker in 35 countries.
European customers will have access to the music, with some repertoires being made available for Eurasian countries, the Middle East and Arabia, Africa and the Indian subcontinent.
Seven large European music publishers are behind the initiative, which it says offers "a single point of entry for the use of repertoires" they represent.
The initiative comes after prodding by the European Commission, which issued a draft directive asking for transparency and efficiency.
The publishers say licensing hubs like Armonia with collective management represent the future of digital publishing of music for online services, making it quicker and easier for customers to access works as well as for songwriters to promote their creations.
The deal coincides with Google rolling out its Play Music Store in Europe last week. The service for Android device users lets customers store up to 20,000 tracks in the cloud for free, and has millions of songs available for a typical price of $1.55 each.
With the free cloud storage, Google hopes its Play service will be able to take on Apple's iTunes in European markets.
The search engine giant's head of international licensing, Sami Valkonen, said the service will make it easy for customers to acquire legal music, and hopes it will make piracy obsolete.
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