YouTube UK welcomes back the music
While Google says I love you, if you pay my rent
YouTube has signed an agreement with the PRS to bring back music videos to UK users, while the US arm is busy talking to movie companies about setting up a movie rental business.
UK users of YouTube will get the music back in their lives over the next month or two as tens of thousands of videos are brought back onto the site. These will possibly be joined by the latest movies, if reports from the Wall Street Journal are to be believed.
YouTube UK has been, officially, bereft of copyrighted music since March, when the Google-owned service pulled the videos after failing to reach agreement with PRS For Music. YouTube is now stumping up a lump-sum payment for a licence running from January this year (when the last agreement expired) until 2012.
How much that lump sum is we don't know, but we do know that YouTube royalties aren't exactly generous. The NUJ's Freelance magazine reports that one of the (three) writers of Rick Astley's "Never Going To Give You Up" received $12 for his share of the 39 million views generated when that song became suddenly popular: not exactly a retirement fund.
But it's not as though YouTube is bringing in much in the way of revenue, which explains the Wall Street Journal's report that Google has been talking to movie studios about charging users for access to their latest titles on a rental basis.
Google's last attempt to charge users for video didn't go entirely well, but since then Apple, Hulu and the games-console crowd have proved that users will pay for premium video content, and Google's recent acquisition of video-compression specialists On2 could provide a market differentiator if the YouTube brand wasn't a sufficient draw.
It's hard to imagine Mountain View actually billing anyone for anything: it's not the Google way, but if the payments to the PRS and its ilk are going to continue then revenue has to be generated from somewhere. ®
If music videos are not adverts to get you to go out and buy the single/album/track, can we stop calling them "promos" as that's clearly a big fat lie.
Actually, if you go back through the history of this spat, you'll find that it was YouTube/Google that yanked the vids because the price asked was too high - then the labels complained that they weren't getting the exposure. Can't please some people, can you?
RE: Fraser @AC 1507
Sorry but I wasn't born yesterday, the PRS is run and owned by the big players in the music industry. They might call it a non-profit organisation but the reason for that is simply because they want all the cash to go back into their main businesses, they allow PRS to have as much money as it needs to function and all winnings (licence fees) go the the industry big players. Eventually some of that will filter down to the bimbo's and croners that dance about on stage and maybe even the people that actually write the stuff.
So I say it is for profit, just not the profit of PRS as a company (or non-profit organisation) but for the profit of the music industry bosses who get the money from the licence fees, and also happen to run PRS.
re: Adverts, we are going to have to agree to disagree on that one I'm afraid. To use another analogy, watching a music vid on Youtube is like watching a trailer of a film, the trailer is promo material same as watching a clip on youtube.