MTT Weekly Recap: Effective Music Advertising
REWIND: The Music Industry's Week In Review

Google's YouTube Buys Rightsflow, Publishers Smile

image from "RightFlow has been acquired by Google!" became the banner atop the copyright licensing service's site yesterday; and the announcement promised "licensing success to a much larger audience - ultimately benefiting...the entire global music ecosystem."  But for Google's YouTube, this purchase is more about keeping a promise to music publishers made early last summer.

YouTube and the word's largest music publishers were locked in a lengthy and costly legal battle.  Yes, the publishers knew, YouTube was pretty good at taking down videos using unlicensed when they were asked. But what about discouraging them in the first place; or better yet, getting the kid in Roanoke, Virginia singing an old Edgar Winter song to pay up?

The court case was settled last summer, and with the acquisition of Rightsflow, Google is keeping their promise. Getting rightsholders paid is exactly what they do. Not only does Rightsflow track and pay royalties, its technology asks uploaders to pay a one time $15 fee to use music and then makes sure all the correct people get paid.

Aquiring Righstflow is also the kind of move that Google, who only recently decided it wanted to do business with the music industry, needs to make to earn the trust of the industry's most powerful players.

The full statement on the sale from Rightsflow:

We are excited to announce that
RightsFlow has been acquired by Google!

We built this business to represent and serve licensees—artists, record labels, distributors, and online music services—by making the licensing process a whole lot easier for everyone. Since our launch in 2007, we have accomplished just that, with royalties paid to songwriters and publishers all around the world.

We’re pleased to now be taking a momentous step with the team at YouTube, that shares in our vision of solving the really challenging problem of copyright management. Combined with the worldwide platform and reach of YouTube, we’ll now be able to drive awareness, adoption, and licensing success to a much larger audience — ultimately benefiting users, artists, labels, songwriters, publishers, and the entire global music ecosystem.

We want to send a heartfelt thanks to everyone who has contributed to this milestone: our staff, investors, partners, friends, family, and especially the tens of thousands of artists, labels, distributors and online music services with whom we have partnered.

We remain committed to the highest standards of service and innovation. Our goals remain to enable the monetization of music and content consumption, to simplify the complexities surrounding copyright compliance, and to ensure that creators are paid for the use of their work.


Patrick Sullivan
President and CEO