YouTube to Announce Deal with Warner Music


The WSJ’s Kevin Delaney (sub req’d) writes about a novel revenue sharing and licensing deal between Warner Music and YouTube to be formally announced tomorrow:

The agreement, to take effect before the end of the year, illustrates YouTube’s push to tackle the thorny copyright issues facing it and other sites that allow users to upload video content. YouTube is developing an automated system to digitally identify copyrighted music and video uploaded by its users. It will then give a percentage of revenue from any ads that appear alongside those videos on YouTube’s Web site, if their owners have agreements with YouTube and opt for that rather than having the videos removed.

In addition to Warner artist music videos that will appear on YouTube, the company is making its songs available for use by individuals who may use them in their own user-generated videos.

From the WSJ article:

Licensing its intellectual property for such use could be perceived as risky for Warner Music or any other copyright holder. But Alex Zubillaga, Warner’s executive vice president for digital strategy and business development, said it has become impossible to ignore outlets like YouTube. “This is a phenomenon which kids have embraced which is only going to continue to grow,” he said. “We’re much better innovating and embracing this than trying to stop it.”

He’s right.

What’s interesting here is the corporate recognition and acceptance of something that’s already going on at the grass roots level rarther than trying to shut it down through litigation. Warner may reap both short term and longer-term benefits by being open with its catalog. (See my “Grateful Dead” post.)

By contrast, Universal Music Group has threatened to sue both MySpace and YouTube over alleged copyright violations involving its artists on these sites.


One Response to “YouTube to Announce Deal with Warner Music”

  1. Next Up for Online Video: User-Edited Content « Screenwerk Says:

    […] Warner Music has impliedly embraced this next trend, while Universal is angrily resisting. Although the DRM (digital rights management) issues are thorny it makes no sense to resist. For an explanation as to why, I point back to my Grateful Dead post and the YouTube/Lazy Sunday experience. […]

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