NMPA and YouTube Reach Agreement to Distribute Unclaimed Royalties

PRESS RELEASE
For Immediate Release: December 8, 2016
Media Contacts:
Charlotte Sellmyer (NMPA)
Michelle Slavich/Lisa Bellamore (YouTube)

Washington, D.C. – The National Music Publishers’ Association (NMPA), on behalf of music publishers and songwriters, and YouTube have negotiated an agreement to distribute royalties for musical works used in videos on YouTube where ownership was previously unknown. As a result, millions of dollars in previously unclaimed non-performance royalties will be paid to publishers and songwriters, starting in 2017.

The agreement addresses the challenges around identifying ownership of musical works, and it will help solve the problem of attribution so that music publishers and songwriters can not only be paid for works viewed on YouTube in the past where ownership was previously unknown, but also be paid for those identified works moving forward.

“We appreciate YouTube’s willingness to work with us on behalf of the industry to help pay out millions of dollars in previously unclaimed royalties to publishers and songwriters,” NMPA President and CEO David Israelite said regarding the agreement. “It is essential that we work with digital services like YouTube – the most popular digital platform for music discovery – to fix the challenge of incomplete ownership information to ensure royalties are no longer unmatched and music owners are paid accurately by the platforms that rely on their work.”

“The revenue earned by the music industry on YouTube continues to grow significantly year over year, and we’re committed to making sure that publishers are paid for the usage of their works on our platform,” said Tamara Hrivnak, Head of Music Partnerships, Americas for YouTube and Google Play. “We are excited to partner with the NMPA to address the industry-wide challenges associated with identifying publishing ownership on digital platforms.”

Agreement Summary:

  • Music publishers will have the ability to opt into this agreement during the opt-in period, which opens on December 12, 2016 and will remain open through February 28, 2017.
  • Following the opt-in period, YouTube will provide participating publishers with a list of songs YouTube may have been unable to obtain proper ownership information for. This will allow participating publishers to claim ownership in those songs and receive accrued royalties from the period between August 1, 2012 through December 31, 2015.
  • The claiming window will be 3 months long. After the claiming window, participating publishers will receive claimed accrued royalties.
  • Any accrued royalties that remain unclaimed will be distributed to participating publishers based on each publisher’s market share and on revenue paid for known usage on YouTube during the initial accrual period. The agreement, however, will not affect the rights of any publisher or songwriter who does not choose to participate.
  • This process will be repeated for future twelve-month usage periods beginning on January 1, 2016 and ending on December 31, 2019.


About the NMPA:
Founded in 1917, the National Music Publishers’ Association (NMPA) is the trade association representing all American music publishers and their songwriting partners. The NMPA’s mandate is to protect and advance the interests of music publishers and songwriters in matters relating to the domestic and global protection of music copyrights. Learn more at www.nmpa.org.

About YouTube:
Launched in May 2005, YouTube allows billions of people to discover, watch and share originally-created videos. YouTube provides a forum for people to connect, inform, and inspire others across the globe and acts as a distribution platform for original content creators and advertisers large and small. YouTube is a Google company.