Universal Music Group and YouTube have confirmed a new global licensing agreement, following lengthy negotiations.
The deal covers royalty rates for music videos and uploaded clips.
The multi-year agreement follows a standoff between the biz and the Google-owned company over the so-called value gap. But there appears to have been a breakthrough, just over a year since former Warner Music exec Lyor Cohen took up a role as global head of music at YouTube.
Universal Music Group CEO and chairman said: “This important step forward provides our recording artists and songwriters improved content flexibility and growing compensation from YouTube’s ad-supported and paid-subscription tiers, while also furthering YouTube’s commitment to manage music rights on its platform. I look forward to collaborating with Susan and her team at YouTube on the important work ahead to advance artists’ interests and sustain the music industry’s recent growth.”
Susan Wojcicki, CEO of YouTube, said: “We’re thrilled to strengthen our partnership with Universal Music Group. This agreement means we can drive more value to the industry, break and support more artists and deliver an incredible music experience to fans around the world.”
Bloomberg reports that Sony Music has also struck a deal with YouTube, though it has not yet been announced.
Warner Music Group made its own deal – covering recordings and publishing –with YouTube six months ago, though it is understood to be a more short-term agreement.
The deal with the majors paves the way for YouTube to expand into a subscription music service
Cohen wrote a blog defending YouTube’s royalty rates and safe harbour laws in the summer.
The fractious relationship between YouTube and the music industry got so bad in 2008 that Warner pulled its content for nine months.
Last month YouTube began working with Ticketmaster on featuring concert dates on aritst videos.