Hartwig Masuch, CEO of Germany-based global music publisher BMG, has hailed this morning’s momentous licensing agreement between YouTube and collection society GEMA as “an important step for songwriters in Germany and across the world”.
For the past seven years, YouTube and GEMA had failed to reach an agreement over video licensing in the region. However, the standoff was brought to an end this morning, with YouTube revealing news of the new deal via a blog post on its official blog page.
“Today’s agreement marks an important step forward for songwriters in Germany and across the world in their ability to earn a living in the digital music world,” said Masuch. “Not only does this deal produce immediate financial benefits, it reinforces the message that music has a value.
“Importantly not just songwriters will benefit, but also artists who will see the availability of their work in Germany increase as a result of this deal.
“Right from the beginning BMG always believed that ultimately digital music platforms would increase the value of the music market, but too often the infrastructure and agreements necessary to realise that potential have been lacking. We congratulate GEMA and YouTube on having reached agreement.
“Significantly we are told the agreement includes remuneration for usages dating back seven years. We look forward to being able to pay through to our clients their share of this money. Too often debates about the value of music can appear abstract, but we are very aware that this is ultimately about the livelihoods of individual music-makers.”
YouTube’s head of international music partnerships, Christophe Muller, said earlier this morning: “We’re committed to ensuring that writers, composers and publishers continue to be paid fairly, and that our users are able to enjoy their favourite songs and discover new music on the platform. We are extremely pleased to have reached an agreement with GEMA to help their members earn revenue and to enable new musical talents to emerge.”