YouTube-PRS agreement revives 45s

By Julian Clover

September 3, 2009

Music videos from leading performers will today return to the YouTube video sharing website in the UK after a six month absence.

The Google-owned company had been in dispute with the songwriter’s association PRS for Music after the two failed to reach an agreement on royalties.

“We are pleased to announce that an agreement for a licence has been reached and both PRS for Music and YouTube are happy that the negotiations resulted in a mutually acceptable deal,” You Tube said in a statement. “As a result of the new agreement, premium music videos in the UK are coming back to YouTube – this is good for songwriters and composers, music fans and YouTube.”

Although YouTube had removed its so-called premium videos, some content uploaded by users had remained on the site including the high profile appearance of Susan Boyle on Britain’s Got Talent.

“We are very pleased we have been able to sign a deal which fairly remunerates artists, composers and publishers,” said Andrew Shaw, PRS’ managing director of broadcast and online.

In addition to the music videos, the agreement also covers user-generated content and incidental music on the many television shows available on the site. Terms of the deal have not been released, although it is believed that the one-off sum paid by YouTube runs into several million pounds, though short of the 8% of UK music turnover sought by PRS.