If you spend any time on YouTube at all, you have probably realized they scan user uploads constantly searching for copyrighted materials that shouldn't be up there without the publisher's permission. For instance, if you post a video of yourself snorkeling during your vacation to Hawaii and add a cool track from the Beatles playing in the background, you may return later to find it deleted completely or missing the musical soundtrack you so tastefully embellished it with. The system they use to find the videos and deal with them is called Content ID.
Now, YouTube has struck a deal featuring a wide variety of publishing companies that will allow instances of your Beatles soundtrack disappearing, a lot less frequent. Working with their various publishing partners, YouTube will track down your renegade soundtrack, verify it with the publisher, then assign some advertising to your video so they can make money off people enjoying you snorkeling with your yellow submarine.
The downside for viewers is, more ads to sit through, but the upside for artists and producers is more creative freedom. The upside for publishers, recoding studios, recording artists, and just about anybody else involved in the copyrighted music business is they will be getting paid. It's a critical first step to making the recording industry profitable again, after the huge hits they've sustained from digital freebooting.
The publishers on board for the new deal with YouTube include BMG Rights Management, Christian Copyright Solutions, ABKCO Music, Inc., Songs Music Publishing, Words & Music, Copyright Administration, Music Services, Reservoir Media Management, and Songs of Virtual.
Elizabeth Moody, head of strategic partner development for YouTube Music comments on this monumental new partnership with music publishers:
"When these publishers allow YouTube to run ads alongside user generated videos that incorporate their compositions, then the publishers, the songwriters they represent, and the record labels and artists using their compositions, all make money - so they can reinvest in their careers and keep making great music, and the music industry can thrive."
Yes, it does mean more advertising to sit through, but it also could means a resurgence in the recording industry, and if you're a music lover, it is something we have all been starving for. I think the impact of this deal, which YouTube has facilitated, will be far reaching and revolutionary from both an advertising standpoint and a creative one.
If you're curious about the Content ID system, which actually plays a critical role in the new publishing deal, I have included YouTube's infomercial on it. I think it's quite brilliant regardless of how oppressive you find it to be to your creative process. Regardless, it will now be deciding who gets paid rather than who gets censored. Enjoy!
(Lead image courtesy of Aquaviews.net)