YouTube welcomes back music from Danish songwriters, inking new Polaris licensing deal

Some good news for songwriters and composers in Denmark in today.

For the past few months, music videos from superstar Danish acts such as Lukas Graham, Volbeat and Mø have been inaccessible by residents of the Scandinavian country on YouTube.

That was because of a dispute between YouTube and Denmark’s Koda – the equivalent of ASCAP/BMI (US) or PRS For Music (UK) – over the remuneration of songwriters and publishers in the market that led to the removal of music written by Danish composers from the service.

But today (October 1), we learn that Polaris, the umbrella collection society for the Nordics, has reached a new licensing agreement with YouTube for music used on its service, which means that music by Danish writers should once again become accessible on the service in Denmark.

YouTube and Koda had been operating under a temporary license agreement since April following the expiration of their previous multi-year YouTube deal.

That temporary deal expired on July 31 and, due to a breakdown in discussions between the two parties, was not renewed.

MBW discovered last month that YouTube’s mass takedown affected at least half a million tracks on its service,  which could potentially have appeared in millions of videos across UGC and ‘premium’ music content on the platform.

YouTube nor Koda responded to MBW’s request for comment.

Polaris’s new agreement, entered into on behalf of Koda (Denmark), Teosto (Finland), Tono (Norway) and Stef (Iceland) comes into force today and replaces the local agreements previously entered into by the individual countries.

The new agreement differs from the previous local agreements in that it covers a much larger repertoire and that it extends beyond the national use of the individual collection societies’ repertoires.

For example, the new agreement also includes the use of the four societies’ repertoires in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and parts of Asia.

This means that the four Nordic societies’ license their repertoire directly with YouTube without going through their sister societies in the countries covered by the agreement.

It also encompasses a range of music uses including traditional music videos and TV-style content that has music in the background and cover versions. It covers both ad-supported as well as subscription services.Music Business Worldwide