The independent music publisher agreement with YouTube first reported in August is finally ready to be implemented, according to the National Music Publishers' Association. Advance payments are expected to follow shortly.
In anticipation of publishers signing on, YouTube will make up to a $4 million recoupable advance payment for music publishing royalties due on user-generated contents containing published songs. Moreover, YouTube will pay user-generated videos that contain master recordings at a synchronization royalty rate of 15% of net advertising revenue, based on a pro-rated basis of the publishers' share of the songs. The mechanical-licensing song-share split will be used as the proxy to calculate payments.
All licensing and payments will be administered by the Harry Fox Agency (HFA). Publishers will have until Jan. 16, 2012 to sign up and be eligible to receive a portion of the advance. They can sign up regardless of whether they are affiliated with HFA. While the licensing agreement begins Aug. 11, it's only in effect when publishers sign up. It runs through Aug. 11, 2014.