YouTube Red UK launch moves a step closer with new PRS licensing deal

YouTube Red is expected to launch in Europe this year, and its roadmap to arriving just got a boost – in the shape of a licence for the UK and Ireland from PRS For Music.

PRS and YouTube have today confirmed a new extension to their existing multi-territory licensing deal, which covers the launch of Red and promises to ‘drive improved value across the PRS and MCPS membership’.

PRS represents the rights of over 115,000 songwriters, composers and music publishers in the UK.

The extended partnership covers PRS-protected repertoire in the UK & Ireland – as well as direct members’ repertoire across 130 territories in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

In addition, the new licence also includes mechanical rights for musical works represented by MCPS in the UK and Ireland – plus the repertoire of over 40 leading independent music publishers under the growing IMPEL umbrella.

PRS said the deal also ‘provides a framework for further territorial expansion of the partnership’.

The news comes just weeks after PRS struck a fresh licensing agreement with SoundCloud, having settled a lawsuit for copyright infringement.

“This deal is an important step to ensuring that writers, composers and publishers continue to get paid… and speaks to a bright future ahead.”

Christophe Muller, YouTube

YouTube Red, a paid-for subscription service, launched in the US in October last year.

Following a four-week free trial, subscribers pay $9.99 a month to access ad-free videos, premium content and gain the ability to cache media for offline viewing.

Robert Ashcroft, Chief Executive, PRS for Music said “On behalf of our members, we are pleased both to extend and expand our licensing relationship with YouTube.

“PRS for Music was the first copyright society to sign a licensing agreement with YouTube back in 2007 and both parties have since worked closely together to improve the value that creators derive from the platform.

“This latest agreement represents another important step in that direction, ensuring continued growth in royalties for our members from one of the world’s leading video platforms.

“PRS for Music fully recognises the breadth of opportunity on the horizon with YouTube and other open platforms and is committed to achieving fair remuneration for rightsholders and a level licensing playing field”.

He adds: “The recently announced, expanded ICE joint venture is poised to build on this enhanced PRS-YouTube relationship to deliver greater licensing efficiency to members and customers alike, over a wider territory and expanded repertoire base.”

YouTube’s Head of Music, Christophe Muller commented: “We’re committed to ensuring that writers, composers and publishers continue to get paid and that our users have the best experiences enjoying the video content that they love.

“This deal is an important step in delivering both of these priorities and speaks to a bright future ahead.

“2016 will see yet more opportunities for creators, authors and composers as we launch new products and create new revenue streams.”Music Business Worldwide

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