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Creating new opportunities for publishers and songwriters

By Elizabeth Moody

Head of Strategic Partner Development For Music

YouTube has become a thriving music ecosystem and a place for established and emerging singers and songwriters to find an audience. Today, we’re happy to announce an agreement with two leading U.S representatives of music publishers -- the National Music Publishers Association (NMPA) and its subsidiary Harry Fox Agency (HFA) -- that will help more music publishers, and the songwriters they represent, make more money from use of their compositions in YouTube videos uploaded by fans.

We already have deals in place with a number of music publishers in the U.S. and around the world, and today’s deal offers more choice for rights holders in how they manage use of their songs. Going forward, the 46,000 music publishers already affiliated with HFA will be able to license the musical compositions they represent for use by the YouTube community. When these publishers allow YouTube to run ads alongside user generated videos that incorporate their compositions, the publishers, and the songwriters they represent, can make money. We’ll also be working with HFA to invite other publishers to sign up, even if they’re not affiliated with HFA.

Our Content ID system allows us to identify the works of these songwriters whether the compositions appear in an original sound recording or in a cover version, using information provided to us by the publishers. This means that more songwriters will be able to share in more of the revenue that the YouTube community’s creativity yields. It’s simple for publishers to opt in to this licensing opportunity, and advances in our technology help publishers to find even more performances of their songs, providing the opportunity for more revenue. Content ID is used today by 2000+ partners including every major US music publisher, record label, network broadcaster, and movie studio.

While this deal is only with the publishers, it will also benefit recording artists and record labels. It’s been YouTube’s policy to run ads alongside videos with commercial music only when the copyright holders for both the sound recording and the composition have authorized YouTube to do so. We’ve long had agreements with all four major record labels as well as dozens of independent labels, and now that we are broadening our coverage with more publishers, we’ll be able to create more revenue streams for all of them.

With today’s deal and advances in Content ID technology, we’re continuing our recognition of songwriters for their artistic contribution by supporting them with an additional revenue stream to help their future creative pursuits.