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On the heels of news last week that it has secured EMI‘s recorded music division for nearly $2 billion, Universal Music is again in the news: Google (NSDQ: GOOG) is reportedly very close to signing a deal with the company to use its music as part of an upcoming download store.
The news was reported by Bloomberg, citing an unnamed source. The development comes at the same time that Google is preparing to hold a music event tomorrow in Los Angeles, which we will be covering. It’s thought that Google will be revealing more about its music download store then.
A deal with Universal would be a huge boost for Google’s music effort, which has reportedly only signed up EMI so far. Sony (NYSE: SNE) Music and Warner Music have stayed away because of pricing and privacy concerns, according to the report.
Google may be revealing more of its music offerings tomorrow, but it won’t be its first moves into the space:
In May, the company launched a beta of what we currently know as Google Music, which is essentially a digital locker that lets users upload some 20,000 songs to listen to via a browser or Android device. In April, Google bought the Canadian startup PushLife for $25 million. PushLife has developed its own technology for mobile music purchasing, streaming and sharing services.
Tomorrow could see another advance in Google’s services combining these — and, with Universal’s blessing, hopefully with some content behind it to boot.
Universal is owned by the media conglomerate Vivendi (EPA: VIV) and is currently the world’s largest music company, accounting for 26 percent of all music sold. It represents artists that include Lady Gaga, pictured, and teenybopper heart throb Justin Bieber.
The reports of Universal’s purchase of EMI’s recording division
have yet to be confirmed, but if it is true, that, when completed, will add another 9 percent of music sold worldwide to Universal’s control, according to Reuters.
Sony is reportedly buying the other half of EMI, its publishing division, for $2.2 billion. That means that EMI broken up is getting sold for about half of what Terra Firma paid when it bought EMI in 2007: £4.2 billion ($6.7 billion).