New York (June 4, 2007)--Late last week saw EMI Music sign a licensing agreement with YouTube and its parent company Google, that will allow YouTube users to audio and video from EMI artists. The troubled record company became the last of the major labels to license music to the popular web video site, and according to many accounts, the hold-up was based on EMI waiting to see YouTube's long-promised content identification and filtering technology work.
According to Billboard, EMI will post music videos to YouTube, where the website will compile them with other companies' clips in different "channels." More importantly, YouTube users will be able to use EMI music as soundtracks to their own online videos without fear of legal retribution.
YouTube's filtering technology, which was originally supposed to debut last year, and which is still yet to be implemented on the site, was not an arbitrary sticking point. The software will reportedly allow the various companies to track content on the site, restrict or remove certain songs or content--and, of note for a music industry looking to find new revenue streams--will be key for tracking ad revenue from viewings of that content as well.
-- Clive Young