October 26, 2015 00:00 ET

AMRA and YouTube Sign Landmark Deal

Partnership to Drive Value for Artists and Songwriters in Payment Chain

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwired - Oct 26, 2015) - AMRA, the world's first global, digital music collection society and YouTube today announced they have executed a global license agreement for AMRA's repertoire of music, excluding U.S. and Canada. Covering 100+ territories, the deal was made in an effort to significantly improve and ultimately resolve the value chain and income flow to music creators. AMRA's streamlined central licensing structure increases transparency, efficiency and economies of scale for its clients. Following AMRA's recent deal with Apple Music, this is AMRA's second major deal since Kobalt acquired the society.

The new deal is intended to ensure quick and efficient payments for music creators. As the music industry continues to evolve and is profoundly impacted by the rise of technology and digital streaming, it is imperative that music collection societies keep up with the rapid pace of change and adapt in sync with technological advancements. Historically there has been confusion and convoluted processing related to international royalty collections for artists. Until now, DSPs such as YouTube have sought out efficient and compatible mechanisms to effectively pay artists for their creative works as they are streamed. This deal offers a solution as it will use the latest technology to tell artists in real-time where their songs are played, and so ensure much more transparent, fair and accurate payments.

With AMRA's systematic processing, powered by Kobalt's KORE technology, there is one direct-collections agreement covering hundreds of territories for each respective deal -- billions of transactions and micro-payments are generated from the major streaming services on a daily basis. AMRA is able to uniquely track the songs that are played via video streaming in real-time. In addition to official content, YouTube streams countless hours of fan videos providing new and sizeable opportunities for promotion and revenue for artists; the volume and speed, particularly on a global scale, of collecting this revenue from millions of videos is extremely complex. This deal accelerates that process and makes it easier by streamlining collections. As a result, AMRA's songwriter and artist clients will see more revenue at a faster speed.

Willard Ahdritz, Founder and CEO of Kobalt, said, "Many creators are missing out on digital revenue without even knowing it. Our relationship with YouTube has always been about creating the most efficient and transparent path for income flow to artists and songwriters. As the largest video platform in the world, YouTube plays a major role in every creator's career -- AMRA's global deal will help ensure that Kobalt clients are paid as quickly and accurately as possible, as well as help stimulate growth for the whole industry."

Tomas Ericsson, CEO of AMRA, said, "Every month, music consumers generate billions of micro-transactions on YouTube. Despite the fact that the major DSPs today are all global companies, the music industry traditionally collects its revenue at the local and regional levels. This 'local' and "regional" approach creates glaring inefficiencies for all sides: the digital platforms are challenged to clear licenses locally, while the rights holders face an increasingly complex and fragmented collections process, causing needless delays and often inaccurate reporting."

YouTube's Global Director of Music Partnerships, Christophe Muller said, "YouTube provides a global platform for anyone -- from vloggers to politicians, global brands to small businesses and of course, musicians too -- to connect with a global audience. We've generated over 2 billion dollars in revenue for the music industry in the last few years alone, and we've long worked with Kobalt to help creators get paid. Our deal with AMRA takes this work another step forward to ensure that artists, songwriters, and publishers get the maximum value from YouTube."

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