ASCAP to combine database with YouTube’s Data Exchange
ASCAP and YouTube have signed a multi-year agreement, effective immediately, for US public performance rights and data collaboration. 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, according to an ASCAP press release.
As part of the P.R.O.’s negotiated, voluntary licensing deal, ASCAP will combine its database of 10.5 million musical works with YouTube’s data exchange. The evolution of the agreement between the two entities leverages YouTube’s data exchange and ASCAP’s vast database of musical works to address the industry challenge of identifying songwriter, composer and publisher works on YouTube, and demonstrates ASCAP’s commitment to building industry-leading data capabilities. This innovative collaboration will enable new levels of monetization and transparency for ASCAP and its members.
‘Higher compensation’ for ASCAP members
ASCAP CEO Elizabeth Matthews commented: “This agreement achieves two important ASCAP goals – it will yield substantially higher overall compensation for our members from YouTube and will continue to propel ASCAP’s ongoing transformation strategy to lead the industry toward more accurate and reliable data. The ultimate goal is to ensure that more money goes to the songwriters, composers and publishers whose creative works fuel the digital music economy.”
“YouTube is dedicated to ensuring artists, publishers and songwriters are fairly compensated,” said Lyor Cohen, Global Head of Music at YouTube. “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.”
According to an article published on Billboard’s website, ASCAP and its counterparts BMI and SESAC still don’t have a choice about whether to license their music to YouTube or other licensees – they are required to grant interim licenses under the terms of their decades-old consent decrees with the Justice Department if they can’t immediately come to voluntary licensing agreements. ASCAP and BMI have been lobbying lawmakers in Washington to reform these consent decrees so that they can seek market rates for their music instead.
Other societies, such as Global Music Rights, have more freedom because they aren’t governed by consent decrees. GMR, founded three years ago by music manager Irving Azoff, does not currently license its works to YouTube because the two companies haven’t been able to agree on a price.
BMI has a direct license with YouTube and is currently discussing a new long-term agreement. BMI spokeswoman Liz Fischer said that YouTube has been “a good partner.” Read the full Billboard article here.
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