YouTube Educates Nashville Publishers about Site Monetization

From left to right:  Walter Campbell (AIMP board member) ; Kerry O'Neil (AIMP board member); David Cook (moderator); Scott Sellwood (Rightsflow/Google), Patrick Sullivan (Rightsflow/Google), Jill Napier (Administrative Director, AIMP); David Preston (AIMP board member); Eli Ball (Treasurer, AIMP); MIchael Kauffman (Rightsflow/Google).  Photo: Heather Cook.

Pictured (L-R): Walter Campbell (AIMP board), Kerry O’Neil (AIMP board), David Cook (moderator), Scott Sellwood (Rightsflow/Google), Patrick Sullivan (Rightsflow/Google), Jill Napier (Admin Director, AIMP), David Preston (AIMP board), Eli Ball (Treasurer, AIMP), Michael Kauffman (Rightsflow/Google). Photo: Heather Cook.

The AIMP hosted Rightsflow/Google representatives yesterday (Jan. 14) in what was a second Nashville gathering to discuss monetizing published copyrights on YouTube. The sold-out presentation, titled Mo’ Money for YOUR Music, was held at BMI’s 6th floor theater as part of a series to inform and educate publishers about YouTube’s Content ID system.

Scott Sellwood, Strategic Partner Development Manager, YouTube, led the Nashville meeting with help from Patrick Sullivan, founder of RightsFlow and now Strategic Partner Development Manager at Google.

Since last year, publishers have been able to elect the Harry Fox Agency to manage YouTube revenue, or enter into direct agreements with the audiovisual provider themselves. Either way, a covenant to not sue is signed upon partnering, releasing litigation rights to pending or future suits against YouTube and its owner, Google.

As explained, the Content ID ‘backpage’ is a tool designed for publishers to manage, monetize, and view statistics for video uploads containing controlled copyrights. Harry Fox-affiliated publishers, however, surrender individual control of this operation to the agency.

Potential revenue for publishers flows from advertisements surrounding videos, which are either uploaded as user-generated covers, user-generated uploads containing a sound recording or licensed music videos. Publisher revenue for licensed music videos is intended to be paid directly to labels according to VEVO and Warner agreements. As of now, Universal is the only label that has agreed to disseminate these payments, including retroactively (albeit to 2010).

“If publishers were actually getting money from labels, we think they would be more enthusiastic about partnering with us,” said Sellwood of the issue.

The presentation continued on to include a variety of advertising opportunities available once any copyright holder has chosen to monetize a work, via Content ID. For more details, see the video below.

Advertisements were said to rotate between videos on an auction-based system according to algorithms that focus heavily on demographics of a viewer. This brought concerns from audience members about exclusive artist endorsement deals. Sellwood noted that, although limited, certain url blocks may be useful for such branding conflicts.

Perhaps the most important concern has been that YouTube is able to begin monetizing a video with clearances from any one copyright holder. Since the video site has seen a 25 percent increase in traffic since January 2012 to nearly 4 billion views a day, the urgency to lay stake to the revenue generated from these partial clearances is as pressing as ever.

Of note, performance fees for digital sites, including YouTube, are paid separate from ad revenue in accordance with negotiated agreements from the PROs. As of this year, Sony/ATV brought this digital performance negotiation in-house from ASCAP and BMI.

The AIMP will host a gathering every month, with alternating luncheons and panel discussions. Find more information here.

Read MusicRow’s previous feature on YouTube royalties and pick up a copy of our latest Digital Toolbox print magazine, focusing on today’s music industry digital landscape.


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Eric T. Parker oversees operations and contributes editorial for MusicRow's print magazine,, the RowFax tip sheet and the MusicRow CountryBreakout chart. He also facilitates annual events for the enterprise, including MusicRow Awards, CountryBreakout Awards and the Rising Women on the Row. [email protected] | @EricTParker

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