The immediacy and level of access that YouTube offers people to videos is its greatest asset, but also its greatest problem, at least according to film studios and the music industry. Because YouTube offers users access to film trailers, snippets of TV shows, movies and music videos, the issue of artists being paid for their work was one that YouTube, even with Google’s powerful hand on the tiller, couldn’t resolve.
In March this year YouTube, after failing to reach any agreement over how music artists would be compensated for views of their music videos on YouTube, acted to block access to many music videos to UK audiences.
Now however Google and YouTube have reached an agreement with PRS (the songwriters’ group) to compensate artists for views of their videos. Details of exactly how much is to be paid by Google for each view have not been revealed, but the good news is that UK users of YouTube can now view videos of all music performers from Lady GaGa to the late Michael Jackson, to local group the Ting Tings from Salford, Manchester. SEO for videos on YouTube is of great importance to websites looking to gain that extra edge, so this agreement between Google and PRS is good for websites who use music videos and YouTube in their search marketing.
As part of the agreement, Google is paying royalties for music videos until 2012, and the payments are being backdated to the beginning of this year.
Adam Shaw, part of the PRS for Music stated how pleased he was about the agreement:
We have 60,000 song-writer and composer members and many of them don’t earn very much money at all – 90% of them earn less than £5,000 a year.
The money we receive is really their living.
According to YouTube, there were tens of thousands of videos removed which will all become available again over the coming week.
Patrick Walker, from Google owned YouTube, added:
The music videos are an extremely popular part of YouTube and this deal doesn’t only cover the music videos but also music included in TV programmes like the X Factor and also for the inclusion of music in user videos as well.
Despite all of this, YouTube is still struggling to turn a profit; something that Google will need to address sooner rather than later.