Google has inked a deal to bring 5.5 million more songs to its Play store in Europe.
In a deal with Armonia — signed 1 November but made public only yesterday, 19 November — the organisation will add its songs to the Google Play store as available in the UK and on the continent.
The first pan-European hub for the licensing of online services, Armonia is made up of groups from France, Italy, and Spain (SACEM, SIAE, and SGAE), and includes music from Sony Latin, Universal Music Publishing International, and more.
"We're thrilled to have reached an agreement with the Armonia societies," Sami Valkonen, head of Google's music licensing division, said in a statement. He added that licenses like this agreement are important to ensure artists and rights-holders are rewarded fairly, and that digital service providers are able to provide for European customers.
"Armonia is a welcome development in the ongoing reform of pan-territorial licensing in Europe in helping simplify and speed-up the music-licensing process," Valkonen said, "which is crucial in fostering ongoing rapid innovation by digital music service providers."
The availability of music in Google Play is actually a new concept in Europe, where the search engine giant just added the option last week. Users in the UK, France, Germany, Italy, and Spain are now able to purchase music from the store and add up to 20,000 songs from an existing collection to the cloud, for free.
A new matching feature to help streamline the uploading process — during which Google scans your music library and adds matching songs online — is now also available in Europe.
"This will all be for free," Google said. "Free storage of your music, free matching, free syncing across your devices and free listening."