YouTube solidifies deal with Sony and Universal, moves closer towards paid service launch
Earlier this month, Bloomberg reported that YouTube‘s music streaming service could arrive as early as March. The service, which has tentatively been titled Remix, has been experiencing delays in its launch due to its failure to negotiate agreements with major music publishers.
Negotiations with Sony Music Entertainment and Universal Music Group have been ongoing for quite some time, and until now had been stunting the new service’s launch. Now, Bloomberg reports that both of the music labels have signed long-term agreements with YouTube.
Sony and Universal’s contracts set an aggressive policing of user-uploaded copyrighted songs. Additionally, the deal means that both companies set the royalty rates for music video rights holders. Ultimately, YouTube will now be able to move towards a Spotify-like subscription model. The paid service will also feature content under a paywall, akin to Spotify’s premium subscription.
Historically, YouTube’s believed to have inadequately policed the misuse of copyrighted material. Many believe their failure to do so has held back the music industry’s growth, and while the Universal and Sony partnership will see out that the paid service is able to launch quite soon, it’s still unclear just how long the contracts are for, or how another new streaming service from a mogul like YouTube will affect the industry.