Google is getting into publishing song lyrics online.
The world’s most popular search engine has apparently hired staff to transcribe and catalogue lyrics, in order to provide this information to users searching for the words to their favourite songs.
According to reports, Google has begun including lyrics in the results pages for certain search terms . When US-based users search for phrases like “stairway to heaven lyrics” or “comfortably numb lyrics”, the words to these songs appear at the top of the page, above the corresponding listings for third-party sources.
It’s a move that pits Google against hundreds of popular websites offering lyrics to thousands of songs. Companies like Genius (formerly Rap Genius) and Metro Lyrics have spent millions to develop their libraries of lyrics, and many of these sites rely on search engines for the bulk of their web traffic.
Google hase been coy about its plans for this feature. Contacted by Business Insider, a spokesperson cryptically alluded to Stairway to Heaven: “There’s a feeling you get when you turn to a song and you know that the words have two meanings,” they said. “Well it’s whispered that now if you go search the tune, maybe Google will lead you to reason. Ooh, it makes you wonder.”
But Billboard reports that this scheme has been long in the works. “They’ve done direct licensing deals with the major publishers to enable the service, and they’re doing it internally at the moment,” an unnamed source told the magazine. “The data isn’t crowd-sourced; there’s a team of people working to create the database.”
For now, Google’s prospective competitors are trying to remain calm. “We’re happy to see Google take an interest in improving lyrics online,” Genius co-founder Tom Lehman told Business Insider. “We’d love to collaborate with them to create the best lyric experience the internet has ever seen.”
This article was written by Sean Michaels, for theguardian.com on Wednesday 24th December 2014 08.02 Europe/Londonguardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010