YouTube blocks music videos in UK
Content yanksploitation against royalty collectors
YouTube is blocking most of its music videos from UK viewers after negotiations with British royalty collectors turned sour.
The Performing Rights Society (PRS) for Music, a group representing artists and publishers, and YouTube both blame each other entirely for the impasse, of course.
Patrick Walker, YouTube's top pact-maker in Europe said in a blog post today that the site will block all "premium" music videos in the UK until it can strike up a new contract with PRS that is "economically sustainable."
"But PRS is now asking us to pay many, many times more for our license than before," he wrote. "The costs are simply prohibitive for us - under PRS's proposed terms we would lose significant amounts of money with every playback."
He also claims PRS is unwilling to even tell the video streaming site what songs are included in the licensing renewal being negotiated. Walker claims the deal is "like asking a consumer to buy an unmarked CD without knowing what musicians are on it."
PRS appears to have been taken off guard by YouTube's sudden yanking of content. Shortly after the site said it's pulling UK music videos, PRS chief Steve Porter announced he was "shocked and disappointed" to receive a call late in the afternoon informing him of YouTube's drastic action.
The music group claims YouTube wants to pay "significantly less than at present to the writers of the music on which their service relies, despite the massive increase in YouTube viewing."
PRS said YouTube's decision to block music videos in the UK was done in the middle of licensing negotiations, and urged the site to reconsider "as a matter of urgency." As a jab — apparently to show that YouTube should have plenty of money to spend on fees — PRS noted the site's parent company Google made $5.7bn in revenues in the last quarter of 2008.
The situation draws obvious parallels to how the automated streaming music service Pandora decided to block UK listeners in early 2008 because it couldn't afford a license with PRS and music labels. Pandora had attempted to work with copyright holders from the outset, as opposed to YouTube, which only more recently has been scoring licensing deals in an effort to generate more revenue.
But YouTube is the most popular online video streaming site out there — so it certainly begs the question of who can earn enough money in the biz if YouTube can't?
Yanking content off streaming sites appears to be an increasingly common negotiating ploy for both sides of the table. In December 2008, Warner Music Group began removing its videos from YouTube after claiming it wasn't getting enough cut of the profit. Apparently companies are betting customer outrage will spur the other side to bend to their demands. But when customers can get their content elsewhere easier (and often illegally, where nobody gets paid) the licensing e-tantrum can certainly backfire on both. ®
YouTube blocks music videos in UK and how to view youtube
I think the PRS should be paying youtube... music videos are called "promos" due to the fact that they sell records.
However, we cannot view youtube in Britain had already become a fact. If I located in the U.K,and I'm a Youtube fun.How should I do?
I found a good method to view Youtube video,no matter what you located in Britain.
I have had dealings with there "people" and frankly they are no better than terrorists.
I have been bullied and threatened, had the phone put down on me and I am a customer!
Its ironic that the holier than thou defender of the musician PRS has in one foul swoop managed to kill off one of the largest free advertising portals for the musicians it claims to support.
Paris, its the kind of shoot in foot with howitzer move she could accomplish
Other people have already made a number of points regarding your earlier comment, most of which you should take on board. However, I have got one other point to raise - where did you get your £44 PRS payment from? If that's what you pay to be a member (and I can't recall 'cos it's a while since I last looked into it as a musician myself), don't confuse it with the amount that the PRS want to charge people for then playing the music. I know of several small engineering and motor trade companies that have received threatening nastygrams from the PRS lawyers in the last couple of years. In most cases, the companies are small businesses employing less than 12 people and turning over relatively modest amounts of money. And you know how much the PRS wanted to charge them for having a radio in their workshops? On average, around £1400 quid each, with the lower bound being just over £1000 and the upper one close to £4000. And don't forget that's an annual fee which I am sure will only increase over time.
If it really was just £44, I don't think anyone would have too much of a problem with it, eh?