Music Industry News Network [03-08-2017]

Audiam + SOCAN Provide New YouTube Service


SOCAN and Audiam are working together to ensure that all songwriters, composers and music publishers receive their portion of the millions of dollars of unpaid YouTube royalties generated in the U.S., that they've rightfully earned from the use of their music in YouTube videos.

From March 1 until May 31, 2017, YouTube is opening a claim process whereby eligible entities can participate in a "Liquidation Agreement." These entities can identify compositions that have earned synchronization royalties in YouTube from U.S. views between August 2012 and December 2015, and add missing information triggering the release and payment of the royalties.

The right of synchronization is the right to synchronize lyrics and melody to a moving image, such as a YouTube video. The royalties, currently held by YouTube in an escrow account, were generated from the share of paid advertising revenues from views of YouTube videos in the U.S. between August 1, 2012, and December 31, 2015.

One of the rights in YouTube videos is the "performing right" (the public use of music). Another right is the synchronization right. SOCAN looks after performing right and New York-based Audiam makes it possible for music rights holders to be paid for their identified synchronization royalties on YouTube. Audiam is wholly owned by SOCAN.

Claims Window Closing Fast

Through its agreement, YouTube has designated only three months to make claims on royalties. The process is open to all songwriters and music publishers who control the administration of the synchronization right in the US.

During this time, music rights holders can either affiliate with Audiam, which will do the work for them, or directly opt-in to the YouTube Liquidation Agreement to make claims, which must be completed by the end of February 2017. To make claims directly, rights holders must have exclusive control of their U.S. administrative synchronization rights to the composition(s) for YouTube.

As an added incentive, after May 31, 2017, any unclaimed royalties from the pool will be distributed by YouTube to participants based on market share data. For example, if $1,000,000 in royalties are not paid out due to missing information, and that information is not entered into the YouTube system by May 31, 2017, then the $1,000,000 is split between all of the other entities participating in the Liquidation Agreement.

Music creators and publishers should join Audiam to facilitate the collection and distribution of their YouTube royalties. Becoming an Audiam client is free, and an administration fee of 25 percent is applied to distributed royalties. SOCAN members are eligible to receive a special administrative fee of 20 percent.


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