Google adds 5.5 million songs to its collection in Europe

A deal with a licensing consortium brings Rihanna, Lady Gaga, and more to 35 countries.

The Google Play store has expanded its reach, adding 5.5 million musical works to its store in Europe.

The deal, which was signed November 1 and made public today, brings new music to 35 countries. It comes via a first-of-its-kind agreement with Armonia, an alliance of licensing groups from France, Italy, and Spain. It also includes music from Sony's Latin division and Universal Music Publishing's British and American repertoire.

"We're thrilled to have reached an agreement with the Armonia societies," Sami Valkonen, head of licensing at Google, said in a statement (PDF link). "Licenses such as this are important in ensuring that artists and rights holders are rewarded fairly for their creative endeavors, and digital service providers are able to bring innovative services to market for the benefit of European consumers."

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