Google Launches Music Service

Google Launches Music Service
Following reports earlier this week, Google unveiled its MP3 store on Nov. 16, announcing partnerships with more than 1,000 music companies, including Beggars Group, EMI Music, Iris Distribution, Sony Music Entertainment, TuneCore, and Universal Music Group, among others. The store launched with 8 million tracks, with additional offerings to be added at a later date, and prices range from $1.29 per song to $10.99 for a full album. Among the features planned for Google's music store are free and exclusive content, including six never-before-released tracks from the Rolling Stones, a five-track live EP from Coldplay and the debut of Busta Rhymes' new album, and the Artist Hub, which gives artists a platform to sell their music. Music purchased through the store can also be shared via Google's social networking platform, Google+. The store is integrated with Google's cloud-based music service, Music Beta by Google, and is available without invitation to U.S. residents. (11/17)

UMG Revenue Up In 3Q
has reported a third-quarter profit of $923 million, a figure in line with the same period last year but exceeding analysts' expectations. Earnings before interest, taxes and amortization increased 5.3 percent to $2 billion, again exceeding analysts' estimates, while net profit decreased 35 percent to $325 million. The company's Universal Music Group posted a 0.7 percent increase in revenue and a 36.3 percent increase in EBITA for the third quarter. UMG's overall revenue for the first nine months of 2011 reached $3.8 million, down 2.9 percent compared to the same period last year, while digital music sales were up 11.3 percent. (11/17)

Bender Named SoundExchange COO
Performance rights organization SoundExchange has named Jonathan C. Bender chief operating officer. Bender's responsibilities will include oversight of distribution, account services, repertoire management, and the organization's database for tracking, collecting and distributing royalties to its artist and record label members. Bender previously held senior positions at Concord Music Group, EMI Music and Universal Music Group. (11/17)

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