YouTube has signed an agreement with Universal Music Group on 19 December 2017 ahead of launching a paid music service next year, Bloomberg reported. This is YouTube’s second multi-year agreement with a major record label after signing a similar deal with Warner Music Group in May this year.
YouTube’s streaming service will be a combination of Google play music and YouTube red. The platform is apparently planning to launch in March next year which will compete Apple, Spotify and other streaming services. Read our related article here.
As Youtube prepares to expand its paid-subscription businesses to include a music streaming service, this agreement will strengthen YouTube’s commitment to manage music rights globally.
YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki said in a statement,
“We’re thrilled to strengthen our partnership with Universal Music Group. This agreement means we can drive more value to the industry, break and support more artists and deliver an incredible music experience to fans around the world.”
UMG Chairman/CEO Lucian Grainge said,
“This important step forward provides our recording artists and songwriters improved content flexibility and growing compensation from YouTube’s ad-supported and paid-subscription tiers, while also furthering YouTube’s commitment to manage music rights on its platform.”
According to Bloomberg, YouTube has reportedly signed a similar deal with Sony Music Entertainment.
YouTube’s deal with the big three major labels appears to include a promise to clamp down on pirated content on the platform. Despite Google’s best efforts, many tracks and albums are still uploaded by non-rights holders and result in record companies, artists and songwriters missing out on revenues. The licensing agreements would be vital for a successful YouTube streaming service, with music fans unlikely to embrace a platform that has glaring gaps in its list.
Stay tuned for more updates.