EMI Music will begin making its music video content available on Google's YouTube, the two companies announced Friday.
The deal is a win for YouTube, which has seen its supremacy in online video content challenged by upstarts including Joost Operations SA, which has signed content licensing agreements with CBS Broadcasting Inc. and Viacom Inc. brands including MTV and Comedy Central.
The two companies will share revenue generated from the content, although neither indicated that they planned to charge for its use. They did not specify what the revenue split would be.
The companies also alluded to opportunities for users to generate their own content using authorized EMI audio and video, perhaps offering users some type of remix capability, or the ability to create their own videos. However, neither YouTube nor EMI were specific in describing the role or rollout of user-generated content as part of their agreement. They did indicate that EMI artists would receive royalties based on the viewing of their work on YouTube, and that YouTube would assist in creating a monitoring system for that.
The move demonstrates that EMI will continue to make its music and video content online in new ways, even in the wake of its £2.4 billion (US$4.75 billion) acquisition in May by private equity group Terra Firma's Maltby Ltd.
EMI, more so than other labels, has consistently embraced digital content and online music sales. It became the first record company to answer Apple CEO Steve Jobs' call for DRM-free (Digital Rights Management) downloads, offering music from artists in its catalog, including Norah Jones, Coldplay, and The Rolling Stones, on the iTunes Music Store for US$1.29 each, a $0.30 premium over other tracks that include DRM restrictions.