Saturday morning the Warner Music Group pulled all of its music from YouTube as negotiations over payment with Google’s video site reached an impasse. Warner’s move will affect its recordings as well as the songs it owns through Warner/Chappell Music.
“We are working actively to find a resolution with YouTube that would enable the return of our artists’ content to the site,” Warner said in a statement. “Until then, we simply cannot accept terms that fail to appropriately and fairly compensate recording artists, songwriters, labels and publishers for the value they provide."
Warner, one of the first media companies to strike a deal with YouTube, wants to make more money from online video. Although the nature of the negotiations is unknown, a sticking point could be that YouTube has lagged in monetizing its considerable traffic at a time when competitors, like Hulu, are emerging. Warner still makes videos available to MTV, MySpace Music and other sites.
YouTube also has agreements with the other major labels, which it is now renegotiating. It is not known whether Warner’s move could effect the other negotiations.
“Sometimes, if we can't reach acceptable business terms, we must part ways with successful partners,” YouTube said in a statement on its blog.
This year, Warner has more than 20 percent market share of albums, according to Nielsen SoundScan, and Atlantic is the No. 1 label in the U.S.