Songwriters and publishers signed on with ASCAP will now earn more money on YouTube.  The performance rights organization has inked a licensing deal that will allow the video platform to combine their massive catalog of songs with YouTube’s data exchange, according to Billboard.

ASCAP CEO Elizabeth Matthews says the agreement “leverages YouTube’s data exchange and ASCAP’s vast database of musical works to address the industry challenge of identifying songwriter, composer and publisher works on YouTube.”

YouTube suggested the company has been dedicated to fair pay for play. “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,” said Lyor Cohen, global head of music for YouTube.


In what is the performance rights group’s first-ever fully-negotiated, voluntary licensing deal with the decade-old video hub not prompted by a rate-court proceeding, ASCAP will combine its database of 10.5 million musical works with YouTube’s data exchange, a move that ASCAP’s CEO Elizabeth Matthews tells Billboard will result in bigger payouts.

The multiyear deal, effective immediately, both “substantially increases the aggregate amount of revenue” that ASCAP will collect from YouTube, and potentially boosts revenue further with data that can help YouTube’s content ID system identify more of the works that ASCAP represents, she says. The deal is also retroactive, meaning ASCAP will be compensated for its works streamed on the site since YouTube started operating on a compulsory interim license with ASCAP in 2013 — and gives the society more leverage going forward.

“Either you have a seat at the table or you get eaten for lunch,” Matthews told Billboard in an email.


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