Google’s online video site, YouTube, has confirmed it will block all music videos to British users after it was unable to reach a rights deal with the main songwriters’ collection society. The world’s largest video sharing site said PRS for Music, a British collection society that collects royalties on behalf of nearly 50,000 composers, was asking it to pay “many, many times” more than the previous licensing agreement that has expired.
“The costs are simply prohibitive for us – under PRS’s proposed terms, we would lose significant amounts of money with every playback,” the company said in a blog.
The move is the latest sign of the tension between YouTube and the music industry and also indicates the video site’s resolve to keep operating costs under control as it strives to generate meaningful profits for Google. YouTube said PRS was also unclear about which songs are included in the renewed licence.
The fallout could further extend to MySpace and similar video-sharing sites.