[UPDATED] Performing rights organization ASCAP and YouTube have signed a multi-year agreement for US public performance rights and data collaboration. Under the agreement the two will work together to ensure that ASCAP members get paid more fairly and accurately for the use of their music on YouTube.
With no official central database of songs and songwriters, YouTube, Spotify and other streamers have repeatedly come under fire for failing to properly identify and compensate some songwriters.
The new deal will leverage YouTube’s extensive data analytics and ASCAP’s database of musical works to address the ongoing industry problem of identifying songwriter, composer and publisher works on YouTube.
“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," ASCAP CEO Elizabeth Matthews said in a statement. "The ultimate goal is to ensure that more money goes to the songwriters, composers and publishers whose creative works fuel the digital music economy.”
UPDATE: Jeff Price, head of Audiam, which collects and distributes interactive streaming mechanicals and YouTube royalties, was somewhat skeptical. "Anything that can be done to assure songwriters and publishers are being paid for the use of their music is a good thing," said Price, commenting on the deal. "This should impact not how much YouTube is paying ASCAP, but how the money ASCAP has collected from YouTube is spread out and paid to its members. It will be interesting to learn what the results are."
“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.”