YouTube is to start streaming thousands of music videos in the UK again, as the site finally agreed a deal with songwriters’ association PRS for Music Britain over royalty payments. The deal marks the end to a six-month dispute between YouTube and PRS, which saw the video sharing site block thousands of videos to UK users in March. The dispute began as YouTube’s parent company Google failed to agree a fee with PRS. However, it has finally agreed to pay an undisclosed lump sum to PRS in a deal will last until 2012. The deal is reportedly worth tens of millions of pounds.
YouTube is expected to take around a week to reinstate the thousands of deleted music videos back on the site.
A statement on YouTube said: “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.
“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.”
YouTube has arranged for several musicians, reportedly including UK act Florence and the Machine, to be “guest editors” for the return of music videos, choosing their favourites for the site’s home page.
“We’ll have to wait for the appropriate content to go live before we can share more, so stay tuned. Enough talk – here’s to the return of great music videos!” YouTube said.
Andrew Shaw, PRS’ managing director of broadcast and online, said: “We are very pleased we have been able to sign a deal which fairly remunerates artists, composers and publishers.”
The deal had taken such a long time to finalise because YouTube was such a “complex beast”, PRS added.