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BEST OF: Covering Pop Hits On YouTube

on Tuesday, Dec. 31st

One of our most popular stories of the past year was a look at how YouTube based musicians are making a living from cover songs. The piece aired on NPR’s Morning Edition, and we dropped an extended cut of that track that got into the business details:

Earlier this year Fullscreen and Maker [Studios] struck a deal with one of the largest song rights holders: Universal Music Publishing Group. This opened up Universal’s massive catalog — decades of music from Fleetwood Mac to Adele — to a revenue sharing plan. Now the musicians who work with Fullscreen and Maker can earn money on their cover videos.

“What we’ve done with teaming up with Universal Music Publishing Group,” said [Fullscreen CEO George] Strompolos, “is allowed the artists who cover those songs to have the license to run the advertisements. And that way if their cover songs on YouTube gets hundreds of thousands or millions of views, it’s actually worth money to that cover artist and the original songwriter is also compensated.”

I totally slipped into music-biz speak there, didn’t I?

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