Warner's video distribution deal with YouTube

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Last month we reported that several record companies were in talks with YouTube about licensing their content to the video sharing portal.

Today Warner Music have announced that they’ve done a revenue-sharing deal with YouTube to allow thousands of music videos and interviews to be uploaded.

“Technology is changing entertainment, and Warner Music is embracing that innovation,” said Warner Music Chairman Edgar Bronfman Jr. “Consumer-empowering destinations like YouTube have created a two-way dialogue that will transform entertainment and media forever.”

What’s interesting is that YouTube have developed a royalty-tracking system that discovers when a user has uploaded video with copyrighted music on it, and then allows Warner to decide whether to approve or reject that video.

It all feels a bit ‘in the mix’ at the moment – on the one hand YouTube are currently existing on a modest amount of venture capital, and seem fervently against ‘selling out’ to a rich corporation – on the other hand they may be forced to allow record companies who come on board to censor videos.

Sounds like a good deal for Warner – they get to advertise, show off their own music videos (presumably with some kind of preferential treatment), and will still allow some use of their songs in amateur videos.

It might even make those wonderful lip-sync videos legal. Joy!

Some other labels aren’t quite so happy with YouTube – Universal is threatening to sue YouTube over copyright violations.

What do you think? Is this good news for YouTube?

Andy Merrett