Universal Music to Allow YouTube Artists to Make Money on Cover Songs

By Devon Glenn 

One of YouTube’s greatest achievements is getting artists to participate in a dialogue with one another through video parodies and cover songs.

YouTube network Fullscreen and Maker Studios have each struck profit-sharing agreements with Universal Music Publishing Group that will benefit both the songwriters and the artists who cover them.

Universal’s artists include songwriters like Elton John and Adele.

Through the agreement with Fullscreen, members of the FAM (Fullscreen Artist Mix) will be able to legally monetize any song within UMPG’s library. Part of the proceeds will go to the original songwriter. There are currently 700 artists in Fullscreen’s network, but other musicians can sign up for the program by submitting their YouTube channels.

Said FAM Network general manager Daniel Rosen in a blog post:

This deal recognizes that cover songs are beneficial to both the original songwriters and the artists reinterpreting their material. A fantastic rendition of a popular song playing on Top 40 radio stations can bring millions of views and incredible exposure to emerging artists on YouTube. By the same token, a successful cover by a popular artist on YouTube of a song that has long faded from the Billboard charts can bring back old fans and introduce new ones to the original recording.

Maker Studios is also plugging in its network of 5,000 YouTube channels, which garner more than 2 billion views per month and include acts like the The Gregory Brothers. The Los Angeles-based company raised $36 million from Time Warner Investments and other investors in December 2012.

The Hollywood Reporter has more.

Image by jonson