As has been rumored for quite some time now, Warner Music Group and YouTube have realized they needed each other — and the label will make its way back to the site to offer music videos and fan use of its artists’ music for their own videos. The two companies announced today that they’d reached a deal and Warner content will return to YouTube “in the near future.” WMG videos had been removed from the video site nine months ago.
While YouTube has had trouble negotiating with the music labels, they continue to provide the most popular content on the video site. Warner has missed out on hundreds of millions of views and their associated revenue since it pulled the plug. Though YouTube did not disclose terms of the deal, it said Warner would be able to sell its own advertising on its content and YouTube would take a cut.
“Warner and YouTube have a long relationship,” said Chris Maxcy, head of music partnerships at YouTube, noting that Warner was actually the first label on the site in 2006. “Our door’s always been open to Warner. It was a continual conversation.”
One interesting aspect of how this has played out is that Warner’s approach is different than that of Sony and UMG, which are taking their music videos off YouTube and creating an entirely different site, Vevo, though it’s powered by YouTube. “We see Vevo as something very separate; we do have a partnership with Vevo” said Maxcy, who declined to comment on behalf of the labels about their relationship with each other. Warner and YouTube say they want to make a “premium” experience around the label’s videos, but we don’t know what that will look like yet.