YouTube adding songwriter and other credits to half a billion songs

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More than half a billion videos on YouTube will, from today, carry credits covering songwriter, label and publisher data – and that’s just the start.

16 May 2018 || Music Business Worldwide

More than half a billion videos on YouTube will, from today, carry credits covering songwriter, label and publisher data – and that’s just the start.

The Google/Alphabet platform has just announced that it is adding ‘credits and music discovery information’ to both premium music videos and – for the first time ever – to fan-uploaded content that features recorded music.

MBW understands that the new credits will affect the presentation of millions of songs, and that details of other tracks will be continually added to YouTube as part of an evolving process.

Consumers are able to access the credits when they click the ‘Show More’ button under each video.

This drop-down area includes artist, songwriter, publisher and label information, in addition to a link to the Official Artist Channel and official music video when available.

YouTube said in a blog that the move would “provide greater recognition and exposure to the people who contribute to the creative process [and] more opportunities for artists and songwriters to reach YouTube’s diverse audience”.

The news comes three months after Spotify announced that it was adding songwriter credits to its desktop platform, via information obtained from record labels.

By contrast, YouTube has clarified that its move had been made possible by the ingestion of metadata from labels, publishers and music licensing societies around the world.

This data is being fed into YouTube’s Content ID technology, which ultimately allows copyright owners to identify and manage their content.

By default, YouTube is therefore building something akin to its very own Global Rights Database for music – which may alarm some of the more suspicious elements of territorial PROs around the globe.

The influx of such vast rights information into YouTube can only be a good thing, however, for songwriters, labels and publishers – especially those hoping to be prominently credited on the platform’s soon-to-be-launched audio/visual streaming music service, currently codenamed Remix.


In a further statement, YouTube said: “YouTube is committed to providing recognition to all of the people who contribute to the creative process, and this is just the beginning. Through our industry partnerships we will expand the scope and quality of data to ensure all creators are credited as completely and accurately as possible.”

Elton John said: “Songwriters are the heart and the soul of songs, so it’s wonderful seeing them get the credit they deserve.There is so much more we can do to establish a better situation for music creators and this is great step forward.”

Martin Bandier, Chairman and CEO, Sony/ATV Music Publishing, said: “Songwriters are essential to the success of the music industry, but too often their critical role gets overlooked. It is why I have long called for all online music services to properly acknowledge their contribution by displaying writer credits. This move by YouTube is an important step forward to deliver that goal and one which Sony/ATV welcomes.”


JT Meyers, CEO of mtheory, commented: “Artists invest significant creative energy and financial resources to create compelling music videos. So we’re very excited that fans who discover music they love through UGC have an easier way to further engage with the artist and experience the official music video they’ve created for the music.”

Robert Ashcroft, CEO, PRS For Music said: “Unlike with CDs, and LPs before that, songwriters are not generally credited for their work on digital services and platforms; I welcome the steps that YouTube is taking to right this wrong and look forward to supporting their efforts on behalf of all our members.”

Björn Ulvaeus, songwriter, said: “The songwriter is every bit as important as the artist and deserves recognition. This is a great initiative.”


Grammy-winning US record producer, songwriter and rapper, Rodney Jerkins said: “In today’s digital world, achieving accurate and comprehensive song credits is more attainable than ever. What YouTube has done by making credits a priority to its platform will allow a better music experience for all.”

And Luke Hood, AEI Group Director and founder of UKF, said: “It’s great to see YouTube continuing to drive awareness of artists, songwriters and labels throughout the platform; significantly improving their discoverability to fans, subscribers and creators alike on their favourite videos.

“We’re excited to see how these developments will influence the musical landscape, connecting music, artists and fans worldwide.”

Original Link | YouTube just added songwriter, label and publisher credits to millions of songs

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