Last year YouTube owner Google disputed how much money it paid the PRS, the society that collects royalties for composers and musicians, which resulted in the blocking of premium music videos supplied by record labels.
However now that the PRS has decided to charge digital sites 0.0085p per track instead of the former rate of 0.22p, a return of streamed music to the video-sharing sites is expected.
Google and PRA accused of 'posturing' over YouTube music by Stephen CarterA YouTube spokesperson said: “We welcome any efforts to make licensing costs more realistic, but as we're still in discussions with the PRS to agree license terms for YouTube we're unable to comment further.”
The new PRS rate will apply for the next three years and seems to have been met with widespread approval from the digital music industry.
Martin Stiksel, founder of music streaming site Last.fm, is among the supporters and issued the following statement: “Last.fm welcomes the substantial reduction in the per stream minima. This shows that the MCPS/PRS alliance has listened to feedback from the industry and is taking leadership in driving commercially workable rates. The increase in the revenue share on the other hand seems excessive at 10%, especially in the light of the fact that traditional radio is paying in the range of 5%. All in all: a move in the right direction, but a mixed blessing nevertheless.”
PRS managing director of broadcast and online Andrew Shaw said: "We believe these new streaming rates will stimulate growth in the digital music market and will benefit our licensees and our members."
It seems that someone worked out that killing the goose that laid the golden egg wasn't such a good idea after all. Even with the reduced rates it's still a nice little earner though. It would be a far more interesting story if the Performing Rights Society gave accurate accounts of where the money is going.