EMI Music, Google and YouTube have signed a licensing deal, which seems to indicate that the video sharing site's long-awaited content identification and filtering technology is finally ready for prime time.

Under the terms of a new agreement, the major has agreed to enable YouTube users "unprecedented" access to its audio and video repertoire, which includes David Bowie, Coldplay, the Decemberists, Fat Boy Slim, Gorillaz and Lily Allen.

EMI was the sole holdout among the major labels licensing music to YouTube, until now. Sources close to the situation tell Billboard.biz that EMI was waiting for YouTube to demonstrate a working version of the software before any deal would be made, and that YouTube has finally satisfied that requirement.

Under the EMI deal, EMI will posts its music video catalog to the site, and allow YouTube to compile the videos along with others in different themed and branded channels. Additionally, YouTube members can submit user-generated videos featuring both audio and video of EMI's roster. This can include anything from EMI music video mashups to self-produced videos that feature EMI music as the soundtrack.

As part of the arrangement, EMI Music will liaise with YouTube and its parent Google to develop revenue-generating business models and the identification and filtering technology is central to any lasting business model between the music industry and YouTube. YouTube can use the technology to restrict and remove certain content from the site, as well as track permitted content. YouTube will then compensate EMI through either a share of ad revenue or through other business models that may arise over time.