Google announced today via its YouTube blog that it has purchased New York-based startup RightsFlow to manage its music licensing efforts. This move could help boost YouTube as a hub for music videos, adding to the content that it already offers through its partnership with Vevo. This could also speed up licensing for Google's own music store.
RightsFlow, which already has a 30-million-song database, has been at the forefront in handling the complex licensing business to ensure proper copyrighting and payment to artists and labels. With this acquisition, Google will have a dedicated team to help accelerate the growth of its own licensing and premium content offerings.
Google has had to fight copyright infringement claims in the past for unauthorized content distributed through YouTube and has also had difficulty securing licensing deals for its Google Music service, reportedly due to labels' concerns over Google's ability to control piracy. With RightsFlow in-house, momentum should be strong for Google music and video content going forward.