Universal, Sony Renew Licensing Deals With YouTube

YouTube Headquarters
FG/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images

Los Angeles headquarters of YouTube photographed on Sept. 4, 2017.

Universal Music Group has reached a global, multi-year agreement with YouTube, the companies announced on Tuesday, giving the video platform licenses from all three major record companies before the holidays.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, though UMG said it would lead to "growing compensation" for its artists and songwriters from the Google-owned video platform. The deal also grants UMG the ability to put content behind YouTube's paywall, potentially making some music available only on the YouTube Red service and not on YouTube's free tier, a source tells Billboard.

Billboard has learned that Sony Music has also completed a licensing arrangement with YouTube, according to a source familiar with negotiations. The deals with UMG and Sony arrive several months after Warner Music Group extended its recorded music and publishing deals with YouTube.

"This important step forward provides our recording artists and songwriters improved content flexibility and growing compensation from YouTube's ad-supported and paid-subscription tiers, while also furthering YouTube's commitment to manage music rights on its platform," said Sir Lucian Grainge, Chairman and CEO of UMG. "I look forward to collaborating with Susan and her team at YouTube on the important work ahead to advance artists' interests and sustain the music industry’s recent growth."

"We're thrilled to strengthen our partnership with Universal Music Group," said YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki. "This agreement means we can drive more value to the industry, break and support more artists and deliver an incredible music experience to fans around the world."