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Google Play Music deal brings 5 million new tracks to Android

Google Play Music has pressed play on a deal that brings Lady Gaga, Rihanna and 5 million more songs to your Android phone.

Google Play Music has pressed play on a deal that brings Lady Gaga, Rihanna and 5 million more new songs to your Android phone's music store.

Google has done a deal with European licensing and publishing groups to add more than 5.5 million tracks, including meat-decked GaGa and good girl gone bad RiRi. The deal folds the UK and American sections of Universal Music Publishing's library into Google Play and spans most of Europe.

Google signed the deal with music publishing group Armonia, which includes French, Italian and Spanish licensing bodies. Unusually -- and unlike Amazon and iTunes licensing -- the deal applies to all 35 countries, instead of tangling up individual deals for each and every country.

The need for complex separate deals have previously been a stumbling block for getting music, TV and films into digital music stores -- and it's always been intensely frustrating, because after all, the Internet has no national borders. Such discrete deals became archaic a long time ago, and at worst drive fans to pirate music they can't get hold of legally.

Adding loads of music -- if not all the music -- is essential for Google Play. Google's music catalogue may be cheaper than iTunes for many albums and singles, but if it's riddled with gaps music fans will vote with their ears and return to iTunes, Amazon or Spotify.

In related news, long-time digital hold-outs AC/DC are Mac in Black as they add their none-more-rock back catalogue to iTunes. For those about to make a whole lotta cash from digital sales, we salute you.

What's the most important thing about a music service? Price -- or your favourite artists? What music service do you use, and where do you go instead if you can't find the tunes you want? Tell me your thoughts in the comments or on our Facebook page.