Music videos back on YouTube
Published 03/09/2009 | 10:33
Music videos are to return for YouTube viewers in the UK after the website struck a royalties deal to end a six-month dispute.
YouTube blocked thousands of videos to users in March after its parent Google failed to agree a fee with songwriters' association PRS for Music.
But the video-sharing website has agreed to pay an undisclosed lump sum to PRS in a deal will last until 2012.
It is reportedly worth tens of millions of pounds.
YouTube is expected to take around a week to reinstate the thousands of deleted music videos back on the site.
A statement on YouTube said: “We are pleased to announce that an agreement for a licence has been reached and both PRS for Music and YouTube are happy that the negotiations resulted in a mutually acceptable deal.
“As a result of the new agreement, premium music videos in the UK are coming back to YouTube – this is good for songwriters and composers, music fans and YouTube.”
YouTube has arranged for several musicians, reportedly including UK act Florence and the Machine, to be “guest editors” for the return of music videos, choosing their favourites for the site's home page.
“We'll have to wait for the appropriate content to go live before we can share more, so stay tuned. Enough talk – here's to the return of great music videos!” YouTube said.
Andrew Shaw, PRS' managing director of broadcast and online, said: “We are very pleased we have been able to sign a deal which fairly remunerates artists, composers and publishers.”
The deal had taken such a long time to finalise because YouTube was such a “complex beast”, PRS added. Before the row started, millions of music fans were able to view music videos for free on the website.
As negotiations between the two sides turned increasingly bitter, PRS said Google wanted to pay “significantly less than at present to the writers of the music”.
Google countered by saying it was being asked to pay “many, many times more for our licence than before” and that it would lose the firm money every time a video was played.
The internet giant described its decision to pull the videos as a “painful decision” which it knew would cause “significant disappointment”.
PRS for Music collects licensing fees in the UK for around 60,000 songwriting and publishing members.