YouTube, Sony Reach New Music Licensing Deal

    February 13, 2009

Here’s some good news for music lovers: a large chunk of the music videos available on YouTube won’t be disappearing anytime soon.  Reports indicate YouTube and Sony Music Entertainment have reached a fresh music licensing deal. 

YouTube Logo

The arrangement is almost sure to be beneficial to both sides.  Sony has a huge presence on YouTube, with the sonybmg channel alone attracting over 93,000 subscribers and 2.3 million views.  Then consider all the other channels Sony created – there are ones tied to Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan, and Rage Against the Machine, for starters – and its contribution looks even more impressive.

The precedent this deal sets is also important.  If YouTube can get along with Sony, then maybe there’s hope for its relationships with EMI, Universal Music, and Warner Music Group.  YouTube must prefer sharing revenue to muting clips and/or facing lawsuits.

Anyway, details are scarce, but concerning the makeup of the new deal, Peter Kafka writes, "[P]eople familiar with the matter tell me that the negotiations revolved around three components: an upfront payment from YouTube to Sony, the minimum amount Sony will receive each time someone plays a Sony video on the site, and the way the two sides will split revenue generated by any of the label’s videos."

If more information becomes available, we’ll be sure to report it.