Google’s YouTube Said to Renew Licensing Agreement With Sony

Other News Materials 14 February 2009 01:41 (UTC +04:00)

YouTube, the video-sharing Web site owned by Google Inc., renewed a licensing agreement with Sony Corp.'s music unit, a person familiar with the matter said, Bloomberg reported.

The deal, which extends an agreement first struck in 2006, will allow videos of Sony Music Entertainment artists to remain on the site, said the person, who declined to be identified because the negotiations are private. Sony's artists include Bruce Springsteen, AC/DC, Beyonce and Alicia Keys.

The agreement contrasts with YouTube's failure to reach a deal with Warner Music Group Corp., which announced in December that it will remove all videos and songs from YouTube. The two sides couldn't agreed on royalty payments. Metallica, R.E.M., Kid Rock and Enya are among Warner's artists.

Record labels are seeking to boost revenue from online video sources such as YouTube as a way to make up for declining compact-disc sales. U.S. album sales dropped 14 percent last year, according to Nielsen SoundScan. The companies receive about half a cent for each YouTube stream, Reuters said.

For YouTube, reaching agreements with record labels is a way to bolster the amount of content on the site, opening up more opportunities to sell advertising. YouTube has a feature that lets holders of copyrighted material identify their content and choose whether to remove it or make money from it.

Sony spokeswoman Claire von Schilling and YouTube spokesman Spencer Crooks both declined to comment.

Google, based in Mountain View, California, fell $5.37 to $357.68 at 4 p.m. New York time in Nasdaq Stock Market trading. The shares have gained 16 percent this year.