Looking to improve the veracity of its lyric searches, search engine titan Google has entered into a multi-year licensing arrangement with Toronto database LyricFinder.
The deal paves the way for a new search function which allows for users to view the majority of a song’s lyrics on Google search page as opposed to clicking through to a website.
Google’s end of the deal is motivated by an interest in directing more users to its own nascent Google Play streaming service. The new feature rolled out in the US today, with international dates to follow.
While the full details of the deal remain private, LyricFinder Chief Executive and co-founder Darryl Ballantyne has noted that songwriters and publishers will be seeing “millions” of dollars in additional revenue for searched songs.
“It should be a significant revenue stream,” Ballantyne told Billboard. “I can’t get into the rates, but we expect it to be millions of dollars generated for publishers and songwriters as a result of this. It’s all based on usage. Royalties are paid based on the number of times a lyric is viewed. The more it’s viewed, the more publishers get paid.”
Currently many lyric websites are unofficial, meaning the lyricists have been deprived of income from their creative efforts. It’s yet another way artists might be able to get greater control over their creative content and increase their income, Nine Inch Nails’ frontman Trent Reznor calling out YouTube recently for “ripping artists off” as well as the European Commission’s Music Revenue Proposal discussed earlier in the year.
For lyric websites and their ‘90s era web design, this may be the end of an era, but if it means artists might be paid more for their hard work in an era where every penny counts, this can only be a good thing.