U.K. users of YouTube will once again be able to watch premium music videos on the service, six months after Google's video streaming site blocked access in the territory as a result of a licensing rate dispute.

U.K. authors' and publishers' collecting society PRS for Music and YouTube have announced a new licensing agreement that covers music contained in videos streamed on YouTube. Premium music videos will now be reinstated to the service and the new deal will be backdated to January 2009, when YouTube's previous license expired. It runs until June 2012.

As previously reported (Billboard.biz, March 9), negotiations on rates broke down, which prompted Google to declare that it was taking down premium music videos.

"It is important that those who are creating music - the writers and composers we represent - be rewarded when their works are used," said Andrew Shaw, managing director of broadcast and online at PRS for Music, in a statement. "YouTube is a popular online video destination, and this new licence continues to support musical talent. This is an achievement for songwriters, composers and the YouTube community alike and it reinforces the value of our members' work."

Patrick Walker, YouTube's director of video partnerships, added: "We are dedicated to establishing and fostering relationships that make YouTube a place where existing fans and new audiences can discover their favourite content - whatever it might be. We are extremely pleased to have reached an agreement with PRS for Music and look forward to the return of premium music videos to YouTube in the U.K. where they will join a variety of other content to be enjoyed by our British users."

The agreed rate between YouTube and PRS for Music has not been confirmed, although the Times reports that YouTube has agreed a one off payment rather than accept PRS for Music's new rates.

In June, PRS for Music slashed its general online rate tariff. The collecting society cut its U.K. per-stream minimum rate by 61% to 0.085 pence (0.14 cents) from 0.22 pence (0.36 cents) effective July 1, while raising its headline rate from 8% to 10.5% of gross revenue. Licensees pay whichever is the higher amount, covering a combined mechanical/performance right.

Speaking to Billboard in June, Shaw explained the decision to cut the rate, stating that "the market hasn't really grown to the extent that we had hoped."

PRS for Music collects for around 60,000 members.