UMG, NMPA Deal Covers Videos on YouTube, Vevo

The NMPA has reached an agreement with Universal Music Group, where UMG will pay songwriters and music publishers when music videos of their songs are played on YouTube and Vevo. UMG is the first major label to reach a licensing agreement of this kind, traditionally songwriters and publishers weren’t paid for video plays, which were considered promotional uses.

NMPA publishers who opt into the North American agreement will grant synchronization rights for music videos, and, in return, receive royalties from the videos based on a percentage of UMG’s receipts. Both Vevo, which is owned in part by UMG, and YouTube are ad supported sites.

Under the agreement, UMG will also provide songwriter and publisher compensation for ringtones, dual disc, multi-session audio and locked content products.

The agreement, which will be administered by the HFA, is retroactive for past use of musical works in UMG’s music videos.

Additional details will become available in the coming weeks, however Billboard reports the deal, which extends to concert footage, backstage videos and artist interviews, will pay 10% of advertising revenue from 2008-09 and 15% from 2010-present.

NMPA President and CEO, David Israelite, commented:

We’re all navigating through a rapidly changing business environment. The agreement announced today is an important first step in resolving industry-wide music video issues. UMG deserves credit for being the first record label to partner with the entire songwriting and music publishing community through this model licensing deal. We have raised the issue with [the other majors] and will now turn our attention to pursuing similar agreements. We intend to enforce our rights.


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