The next time you search for the title of a song in Google, the lyrics will display directly within the search results page. That’s right, no more clicking through to a lyrics site to get what you’re looking for, Google will return it immediately.
This is made possible thanks to a multi-year deal between Toronto-based lyric licensing company LyricFind. The partnership between the two companies also creates a new revenue stream for artists. While the terms of the deal haven’t been disclosed, LyricFind CEO and co-founder Darryl Ballantyne has been quoted as saying it will be “a significant revenue stream” that could result in publishers and songwriters earning millions.
The payout for artists is based on impressions. Royalties are earned whenever a set of lyrics is displayed in Google’s search results. So the more often a song gets searched for, the greater the payout for the artist.
There’s no doubt that this addition to Google search will result in less traffic to lyrics sites — but is that necessarily a bad thing? Most lyrics sites earn money through advertising despite have no permission to reprint the lyrics contained on the site. In turn, that also means the artists receive no royalties when lyrics are viewed. This change is unfortunate for licensed lyrics sites who will almost certainly see their traffic decline going forward.
The deal between Google and LyricFind creates a sense of legitimacy to lyrics search, as Google gets the rights to legally display song lyrics while artists receive the royalties they deserve. In addition, every lyrics snippet card will contain a link to purchase the song on Google Play, which could create even more revenue for Google and musicians.
The new lyrics cards are live today in US English search results.