This press release from YouTube briefly details their partnership with Universal Music Group (UMG), subsidiary of Vivendi Universal. In this groundbreaking strategic partnership, UMG agrees to make music videos whose rights they own viewable on YouTube. It also allows for YouTube users to utilize music from UMG’s extensive catalogs in their videos. In turn, YouTube agrees to remove from their site any content owned by UMG which they choose not to make available, and UMG and its artists will be compensated by YouTube for their properties being viewed on the site.
The document makes mention of the nature of the partnership: that is, a way for UMG to tap into the vast resource internet traffic, a way to assure that YouTube remains devoted to protecting their property, and lastly an embrace of contemporary convergence culture and the new consumer/prosumer drive towards user-generated content.
This is an interesting deal, especially considering the rampant speculation of YouTube running into problems with UMG just a month before this announcement and how, in the midst of the YouTube deal, UMG sued two other video sharing networks.
I reference this announcement because it, as well as YouTube’s agreement with Warner Music Group (which preceded this partnership) are primary evidence of a growing trend towards adoption of user-generated content models, and the willingness of media giants to begin the slow process of loosing content restrictions without direct payment by the consumer.
I reference specifically the Universal Music Group rather than the earlier Warner announcement because segments from my project will include property (video) that is owned by Vivendi Universal. While this announcement does not in any way justify the posting of my project on YouTube as a legal action, the existence of a link between the two companies is of note, and hopefully a sign that should property agreements expand, the video included in my project will one day be YouTube-licensed (keeping in mind that this is not likely, as the project will contain copyrighted material from additional companies.