YouTube and ASCAP Reach Data and Licensing Agreement

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The American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers, also known as ASCAP, struck a new data and licensing agreement with video-streaming and sharing website YouTube on Tuesday.

The new deal will help publishers and songwriters earn more money from YouTube by using technology.  The software will ultimately sync information between ASCAP and YouTube regarding ASCAP members who composed and published songs played on the video streaming site.

The multi-year agreement, which will go into effect immediately, was designed by both companies so that they can work together to ensure everyone is paid fairly, according to a release – “The mutual goal of this agreement is to work together to ensure that ASCAP members get paid more fairly and accurately for the use of their music on YouTube.”

In the deal, ASCAP will combine their database of nearly 10.5 million works of music with YouTube’s data exchange. ASCAP’s CEO Elizabeth Matthews said that the deal will ultimately result in bigger payouts.

Miller told Billboard the deal will, “substantially increases the aggregate amount of revenue” that ASCAP will collect from YouTube, and potentially boosts revenue further with data that can help YouTube’s content ID system identify more of the works that ASCAP represents, she said.

Also, since YouTube started operating on a compulsory interim license with ASCAP in 2013, ASCAP will be compensated for its works streamed on the site which will give the society more leverage going forward.

“Either you have a seat at the table or you get eaten for lunch,” Matthews told Billboard in an email.

It seems like the new deal was a win-win for both companies. YouTube’s global head of music, Lyor Cohen said in a statement “As YouTube delivers more revenue to the music industry through a combination of subscription and advertising revenue, it’s great to see ASCAP take a progressive approach towards the long-term financial success of its members. YouTube is dedicated to ensuring artists, publishers and songwriters are fairly compensated.”


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