Universal Music Publishing has inked interesting licensing deals with two major players in the world of YouTube cover versions.
The deals are with multi-channel networks (MCNs) Fullscreen and Maker Studios, who between them pull in around 4 billion YouTube views every month.
Revenue will now be derived from advertising on Fullscreen and Maker's videos, which will now be shared between the MCNs, UMPG and its writers.
Although the revenue coming in from both is predicted to start off relatively small - in the millions of dollars per year - UMPG is understood to believe there is room for plenty of future growth.
MCNs like Fullscreen and Maker Studios are believed to offer a higher advertising rates than standard YouTube videos, as advertisers tend to be willing to pay a premium to place their commercials on content they know will be professionally-made.
Fullscreen’s “FAM” network currently has over 700 musicians on YouTube, many of whom have gained noteriety on the platform by covering famous songs.
Maker specialises in online-only, TV-style content. It is home to content including KassemG, the Shaytards, Snoop Dogg’s WestFestTV, The Yogscast and Bad Lip Reading, among thousands of others.
In exchange for a share of their advertising revenues, both Fullscreen and Maker will now have access to UMPG's full catalogue of songs.
“We’re delighted to have reached a groundbreaking arrangement with Fullscreen that validates the important contribution of our songwriters to Fullscreen’s music-based programming on YouTube, and enables Fullscreen to fully embrace the many revenue opportunities our songs help to create," said Zach Horowitz, chairman and CEO of UMPG.
“We are particularly pleased with the creation of the unique revenue-sharing arrangement for our songwriters in connection with wildly popular ‘cover’ videos that feature their songs.”
Of the Maker deal, he added: “This is a groundbreaking arrangement that encourages the use of our music and unleashes Maker to reach its full potential. We’re delighted to have reached a market solution with Maker that properly pays our songwriters for the use of their work.”