ASCAP, the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, and YouTube have signed a multi-year agreement, effective immediately, for U.S. public performance rights and data collaboration, the companies announced on Tuesday. According to a release, “The mutual goal of this agreement is to work together to ensure that ASCAP members get paid more fairly and accurately for the use of their music on YouTube.”
In practice, that means the companies will combine their data in order to better identify and pay royalties on ASCAP members’ works performed on the platform, in an effort to “enable new levels of monetization and transparency for ASCAP and its members,” the release says. The arrangement will provide greater detail and transparency than the blanket license that PROs usually issue, and the internal payment calculations they usually rely upon for streaming-service payments.
The deal will cover works streamed on YouTube since 2013, when the platform began operating under a compulsory interim license with ASCAP. A rep from BMI confirmed to Variety that the organization has a direct license with YouTube and is looking at a new long-term agreement.ASCAP CEO Elizabeth Matthews commented: “This agreement achieves two important ASCAP goals – it will yield substantially higher overall compensation for our members from YouTube and will continue to propel ASCAP’s ongoing transformation strategy to lead the industry toward more accurate and reliable data. The ultimate goal is to ensure that more money goes to the songwriters, composers and publishers whose creative works fuel the digital music economy.”
“YouTube is dedicated to ensuring artists, publishers and songwriters are fairly compensated,” said Lyor Cohen, Global Head of Music at YouTube. “As YouTube delivers more revenue to the music industry through a combination of subscription and advertising revenue, it’s great to see ASCAP take a progressive approach towards the long term financial success of its members.”