Yahoo Teams With Gracenote For Online Lyrics
Yahoo! has partnered with Gracenote to launch an online lyrics service, the first industry-backed effort in a market dominated by mostly fan-oriented Web sites. Song lyrics are among the top searches performed on the Web, but consumers have largely relied on unlicensed sources that often provide inaccurate and incomplete lyrics and do not compensate composers for their work. Terms of the deal were not disclosed but officials said it was a variable revenue-sharing agreement based on advertising.
The Yahoo! deal follows an agreement last summer between music publishers and Gracenote, a digital media company, giving the concern the rights to lyrics from the North American catalogs of Bertelsmann’s BMG Music Publishing, Vivendi’s Universal Music Publishing Group, Sony/ATV Music Publishing, jointly owned by Sony and Michael Jackson, peermusic and other publishers.
Gracenote Chief Executive Craig Palmer said licensing lyrics should boost worldwide music publishing revenues, estimated at about $4 billion annually, with the words to songs ultimately providing as much as $100 million in annual revenues in about 10 years as the market expands with new opportunities like online subscriptions, downloads and automotive distribution deals.
The deal caps months of discussions between Yahoo and Gracenote, which said it was also talking with various other music partners, like Apple’s iTunes.
The Future: This is not an exclusive partnership, so expect iTunes, Rhapsody, Napster and other online music sources to follow with their own offerings.