Artists Land Cut Of YouTube Cover Versions In New Deal

29 August 2013 | 11:56 am | Scott Fitzsimons

New deal between AMCOS and YouTube partner network

A historic deal between online video creators and copyright managers has been struck, meaning that artists will get paid for viral covers and cover performers have the potential to take a cut of advertising revenue associated with their content.

The Australasian Mechanical Copyright Owners' Society Limited [AMCOS] have confirmed a partnership with Australian and New Zealand YouTube partner network Boom Video, which will grant Boom's content creators access to the catalogue of songs represented by AMCOS' members, which includes both local and international publishers.

Today AMCOS said they believe that it is the first time that such a 'blanket' deal for rights holders has been struck anywhere in the world.

Boom Video's network of creators includes video bloggers across music, comedy, fashion, film, food and drink, how-to and parenting amongst others. This particular deal grant their artists, including Jordan Jansen, Twisted Tim and Jayesslee (who have 1.5 million subscribers), legal access to the massive collection of songs, for which a license will be paid back to the artists and copyright holders, while they'll now also be eligible to take a cut of the advertising surrounding their channel.

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Boom Video's Client Services Director Jamie Crick described the deal as “a huge coup for our channel partners and a big step for the music industry in engaging with YouTube.

“In the past, Australian artists have been using their YouTube channel mainly as a marketing tool, because they have been unable to generate revenue from their cover version videos. For the first time, some of Australia's most talented and popular online artists can now make money from covering songs by any artists from Justin Bieber to the Beach Boys – which will only encourage them to create and upload more videos.”

APRA AMCOS's Online & Mobile Licensing Manager Frank Rodi stressed, “This landmark deal ensures songwriters, composers and music publishers are properly recompensed for the use of their musical works, while giving Boom Video artists – many of whom are generating hundreds of thousands of views each day – easy access to a vast repertoire of songs.”

He added that Boom were a company “that understands and respects copyright.”

The push to monetise YouTube stars is also happening over at Universal, who recently launched a label specific to YouTube with Def Jam co-founder Russell Simmons.