If you’ve ever had the name of a song on the tip of your tongue or had some lyrics stuck in your brain and didn’t know what song is it connected to, you probably turned to Google. After searching what lyrics you knew, you clicked on a random site and read the lyrics there, giving them ad revenue despite them having no license to reprint those lyrics. Meanwhile, the person who wrote those lyrics and the publisher that put them on the radio for them to get stuck in your head don’t see one red cent, despite billions of searches like that one happening each day. Google has announced that they are partnering up with LyricFind to get musicians and publishers in the loop and make it easier than ever to find the right lyrics.
When a search is typed in that contains some detected song lyrics or the name of a song and the word lyrics, the full lyric sheet is pulled from LyricFind’s database and displayed as a nifty card at the top of the search results, eliminating the need to head to a third party website to read lyrics. While not every song out there will be in the database for obvious reasons, that big radio smasher from the 80s whose chorus you just can’t remember and that groovy pop punk tune whose name you forget are probably in the mix somewhere. Whenever a card is displayed, everybody involved makes a little bit of money, and Google has a chance to make a sale; the lyric cards link to the song’s listing in the Play Store.
Google’s deal with LyricFind is a multi-year license, though the length of time was not specified. The license does allow for international use of the lyrics in LyricFind’s database, but the new lyric cards are only appearing for some search users in the US for the time being, with no word on exactly when they’ll be rolling out in other parts of the globe or when all US users will be able to see them. According to LyricFind CEO Darryl Ballantyne, the deal should produce no small amount of revenue for both LyricFind and the people responsible for the lyrics, somewhat easing the music industry’s charge against Google in the wake of numerous attacks on YouTube’s business model.