YouTube + WMG = ?

An announcement that YouTube will partner with Warner Music Group would seem to be good news. According to a release from YouTube, the aggreement means that WMG music videos will be made available for viewing on YouTube, as will "behind-the-scenes footage, artist interviews, original programming and other special content." The surprisingly thing is that this content also will be available for YouTube users to incorporate into their own videos.

It's not clear what this means, exactly. Can I create a video of my vacation with a soundtrack drawn from WMG's roster? Can I mash up a WMG artist's video with my own sounds? That all remains to be seen, and I'd guess those things will be ironed out after YouTube and WMG execs see exactly what users do with the content.

One sticking point with potential agreements like this has been money. According to this agreement, YouTube will use a new "advanced content identification and royalty reporting system" that will allow for royalties to be paid on both WMG's own content as well as that created by users. It mentions sharing advertising revenue as well, which means YouTube is obvioiusly moving toward an ad-supported system, at least in this partnered content.

It's an idea whose time has come, and should benefit both parties; artists get better exposure and YouTube has some content of guaranteed quality to draw more viewers. One potential problem: WMG is likely to be more vigilant about limiting content featuring its artists to that which is official and sanctioned. Look up your favorite WMG band -- I chose Wilco -- and see how many live clips and assorted videos are up currently. It will be interesting to check back and see how many are still there once this partnership takes flight.


Blogger cloningan said...

so special

11:11 AM  

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