YouTube recently reached a settlement with several major music publishers who filed a class action lawsuit in 2007. Not coincidentally, Google used this opportunity to launch a new music platform inside of YouTube. The new music page includes recommendations based on what you’re already listening to, local concerts, information on the most popular songs on YouTube, and featured playlists compiled by major artists.
YouTube’s Licensing Woes
In 2007, Viacom filed a lawsuit against YouTube for the violation of copyright on numerous songs, TV shows, and movies. Just a few months later, a class action lawsuit was filed against YouTube for the same reasons. While Google won the initial round in court, the case is still in appeal. However, Google may have resolved the concerns for most of the plaintiffs with the introduction of a new licensing system.
Using the new system, YouTube video posters will be allowed to use certain copyrighted songs. Google will then pay royalties to the music companies based on how much exposure the song receives. This opens up the possibility for much deeper licensing arrangements and a legally safer music platform for Google.
The New Music Page
While YouTube has had music features in the past, the new page version includes several key additions. They are:
- Recommended artists and videos, generated based on what you’ve watched and liked in the past.
- The “YouTube Top 100,” which showcases the 100 songs being listened to most frequently on YouTube.
- Listings of local concerts, paired up with videos from the artists who are playing.
- “Essential guides” to top genres, put together by stars of the genres themselves; this includes the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ guide to rock, Lady Gaga’s guide to pop, and Eminem & Royce Da 5’9”’s guide to hiphop.
[Sources include: The YouTube Blog]