UK music videos return to YouTube

Tens of thousands of music videos will start returning to YouTube today, after a deal with the UK’s Performing Right Society (PRS).

In March, YouTube withdrew the videos after licensing negotiations broke down with the PRS, which receives and distributes royalties for composers, songwriters and publishers. UK viewers were blocked altogether; those in the US have been receiving muted versions, whereby comments and video were visible, but no sound was available.

The new deal lasts until 2012, is backdated to January, and scraps the previous pay-per-view model. Instead, YouTube is to pay the PRS a lump sum for the total period. The amount hasn’t been disclosed.

Andrew Shaw, Managing Director of Broadcast and Online at PRS for Music commented:  “It is important that those who are creating music – the writers and composers we represent – be rewarded when their works are used. YouTube is a popular online video destination, and this new licence continues to support musical talent. This is an achievement for songwriters, composers and the YouTube community alike and it reinforces the value of our members’ work.”

Patrick Walker, YouTube’s Director of Video Partnerships, said: ”We are extremely pleased to have reached an agreement with PRS for Music and look forward to the return of premium music videos to YouTube in the UK where they will join a variety of other content to be enjoyed by our British users.”

The videos will start returning from today, but it will take about a week to get everything back up, including new material released during the dispute.