Kobalt’s AMRA signs global licensing deal with YouTube

Kobalt’s very own collection society, AMRA, has signed a global licensing agreement – excluding the US and Canada – with YouTube.

Covering more than 100+ territories, it’s the second major deal signed by AMRA since Kobalt acquired it earlier this year.

In August, AMRA inked a global licensing agreement – again, excluding the US and Canada – with Apple Music.

Kobalt said its aim with the YouTube deal is to ‘significantly improve and ultimately resolve the value chain and income flow to music creators’.

It claims it can do this through superior technology to other CMOs, but also because it operates via a single global, direct collection agreement.

Traditionally, digital music services like YouTube have required separate deals with numerous CMOs on a territory-by-territory basis to license repertoire worldwide.

AMRA says it is able to uniquely track the songs that are played via video streaming in real-time.

“The music industry traditionally collects its revenue at local and regional levels, which creates glaring inefficiencies.”

Thomas Ericsson, AMRA

Willard Ahdritz, Founder and CEO of Kobalt, said, “Many creators are missing out on digital revenue without even knowing it.

“Our relationship with YouTube has always been about creating the most efficient and transparent path for income flow to artists and songwriters.

“As the largest video platform in the world, YouTube plays a major role in every creator’s career – AMRA’s global deal will help ensure that Kobalt clients are paid as quickly and accurately as possible, as well as help stimulate growth for the whole industry.”

Tomas Ericsson, CEO of AMRA, said, “Every month, music consumers generate billions of micro-transactions on YouTube.

“Despite the fact that the major DSPs today are all global companies, the music industry traditionally collects its revenue at the local and regional levels. This approach creates glaring inefficiencies for all sides: the digital platforms are challenged to clear licenses locally, while the rights holders face an increasingly complex and fragmented collections process, causing needless delays and often inaccurate reporting.”

YouTube’s Global Director of Music Partnerships, Christophe Muller said, “YouTube provides a global platform for anyone – from vloggers to politicians, global brands to small businesses and of course, musicians too – to connect with a global audience.

“We’ve generated over $2 billion in revenue for the music industry in the last few years alone, and we’ve long worked with Kobalt to help creators get paid.

“Our deal with AMRA takes this work another step forward to ensure that artists, songwriters, and publishers get the maximum value from YouTube.”

Kobalt has long held a close relationship with YouTube and its parent Google.

Kobalt built Proklaim, a song tracking technology, to fully integrate with the platform. Kobalt says that, through Proklaim, it monetises more than 1.5bn videos each month.

In February, Google Ventures acquired a stake in Kobalt as part of a $60m funding round with MSD Capital.

YouTube is due to launch YouTube Red in the US on Wednesday (October 28).Music Business Worldwide

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