Google breaks ground with pan-European music deal, shows that streaming knows no borders

We now know how Google could offer its European music services to multiple countries so quickly. The search firm took advantage of a new hub approach to licensing at Armonia, an alliance between publishers in France, Italy and Spain, to get rights to about 5.5 million works from 35 countries inside and outside of Europe. The pact should have financial terms similar to those for Amazon and Apple, but it's more notable as a rare (if not pioneering) European digital music agreement that reaches much of the continent in one shot -- those competitors' earlier deals required slower, country-by-country negotiations that ultimately sparked regulatory problems. While we're not bracing ourselves for full catalog access in the Czech Republic in the near future, the Armonia license could be a watershed moment for not just Google Music, but any digital music shop that wants to get a fresh start in the Old World.