An ongoing royalty dispute that reaches back to 2009 has kept music videos off YouTube. A new deal with German collecting society GEMA will finally change that. GEMA and YouTube have reached a deal that makes sure GEMA members get paid for video streams. Also, YouTube users in Germany will no longer see a blocking message on music content that contains GEMA repertoire. The exact commercial details of the deal were not disclosed, but it'll cover both the usual ad-supported free viewing as well as the eventual European launch of YouTube Red subscriptions.
YouTube’s Head of International Music Partnerships, Christophe Muller said: “We’re committed to ensuring that writers, composers and publishers continue to be paid fairly, and that our users are able to enjoy their favourite songs and discover new music on the platform.
Despite the deal, some division remains between GEMA and YouTube over the complex issue of whether YouTube or the uploaders are responsible for licensing any music content they upload. However, it's still a breakthrough. The pact should not only greenlight videos from German artists, but international stars. Effectively, Germany is syncing with YouTube's broader music community - you won't miss out on a cultural phenomenon just because you live in Munich instead of Miami.