YouTube, Unpaid Royalty, and Missing Metadata

The New York Times:

In a persistent problem for the online music business, large numbers of songs have missing or incorrect data about their songwriters and which music publishers represent them, leaving what is widely estimated to be millions of dollars unpaid. The publishers’ association has made a series of deals to address the problem, most recently with Spotify.

On Thursday, YouTube, which is by most estimates the most popular destination for music online, announced that it had reached a settlement with the National Music Publishers’ Association, a trade group, over the complex issue of unpaid songwriting royalties.

The agreement with YouTube {estimated to be worth more than $40 million} will give participating publishers — the companies that traditionally manage songwriting rights, which are separate from those of recordings — access to a list of songs for which YouTube has missing or incomplete rights data. YouTube will then pay any accrued royalties from a fund it has set aside for this purpose.


Again, the services get the all the blame but messy data collection and management within the industry itself is a major part of the problem.

Previously and Previously.