Google has signed a multiyear licensing deal with Toronto-based company LyricFind to “display song lyrics in [Google] search results,” according to a Billboard report.
The partnership was announced on Monday, which on the same day resulted in a new Google feature: When you search for a song’s lyrics, Google shows a large portion of those lyrics at the top of the results.
Google’s move into the lyric business will generate a new and “significant” stream of revenue for music publishers and songwriters, according to LyricFinder chief executive and cofounder Darryl Ballantyne.
“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.”
Founded in 2004, LyricFind has “amassed licensing from over 4,000 music publishers” and provides lyric licensing and online services across 100 countries, according to its website.
As a result of Google’s partnership with LyricFind, user searches for song lyrics on Google will now display several stanzas of lyric text at the top of the page, with a link out to the full lyrics as well as an option to purchase or stream the song on Google Play — as seen below in a search for the lyrics to Steely Dan’s 1977 song “Peg.”
As Billboard notes, the company’s partnership with Google in this new feature will likely have a significant impact on users’ click-through rates to licensed lyric sites like AZLyrics.com, as well as to the slew of unlicensed sites.
Google’s move may also hurt Genius, which has been building up its community of users who annotate song lyrics.