Google said it has signed deals with Sony BMG Music Entertainment and Warner Music Group to stream free music videos on its Google video Web site.
Sony BMG Music Entertainment and Google lately announced a strategic business relationship designed to make the music company’s expansive music video collection available for online streaming at no cost to users.
Starting this month, Google will offer free music videos on its Google video Web site from Sony BMG Music Entertainment and Warner Music Group; users will also be able to access content from Sony BMG Music Entertainment artists through Google’s partner websites in its AdSense network.
The content is sponsored by Google advertisers in a revenue sharing scheme that allows the music video collection of both companies to be available free to all users.
Sony BMG Music Entertainment, Google and web publishers will now be able to monetize professional video content while respecting copyrights through these video distribution models.
The issue was raised as Google announced the deals in the shadow of widespread media coverage of a rumored purchase of YouTube, which is at the centre of copyright infringement concerns in the music video industry.
Monetizing through Ad-Supported Content
"We can meet online user demand, provide advertisers with a new way to communicate with their customers and give content holders a way to monetize their content while respecting important copyrights," said David Eun, Google’s vice president of content partnerships.
Google is a defining force in the ongoing development of the Internet, and we are extremely pleased to be expanding our video relationship with them, commented Thomas Hesse, President, Global Digital Business, and Sony BMG Music Entertainment.
“We see this agreement as an important part of our overall strategy to innovate, find new ways for our artists to connect with their fans, and develop new revenue streams. We look forward to working closely with Google as we roll out this ambitious new effort.”
Unlike several major book publishers, which are fighting a rearguard action against Google’s book digitization project on the ground that it infringes their copyrights, Google is being feted by its new music industry partners as a "copyright savior".
"Our partnership with Google is rooted in the pioneering approach we have used to offer fans more music, while benefiting artists and protecting copyrights, "said Alex Zubillaga, executive vice president for digital strategy and business development at Warner Music Group.
Unmatched Distribution through AdSense Partner Sites
In the coming months, Sony BMG Music Entertainment will also work with Google to distribute select videos from its vast archives to websites around the world via Google’s extensive AdSense publisher network, making it even easier for music fans to access streaming premium content while surfing the Web, all at no cost to the user. The advertising revenue generated will be shared by Sony BMG Music Entertainment and Google.
"Continuing to give users access to premium online content is a key strategic focus for Google," said Eun. By combining our network of hundreds of thousands of advertisers, web publishers will be able to easily display videos that match the tone of their sites adding value to their online content and creating a new way to earn revenue from their sites. For example, a fan site devoted to a particular artist can run ad-supported music videos from that artist. Each time a user is interested in the accompanying ad and clicks on the video, the web publisher, Sony BMG Music Entertainment, and Google accrue revenue.
The deals will boost Google Video, which does not enjoy top-dog status in the online video market.
Facilitating User-Generated Content
Sony BMG Music Entertainment and Google will also work together to create a groundbreaking new service that will allow music fans to access user-created music video content featuring certain material from Sony BMG Music Entertainment’s library of recorded music, while at the same time respecting the rights of artists and copyright holders.
Google also said that along with ad-supported content, Warner music videos will also be available for purchase as downloads for US$1.99.
In the coming months, the company intends to roll out further access to the Sony and Warner’s audio-visual content through Google’s partner Web sites in its AdSense network.
Sony BMG Music Entertainment is 50 percent owned by Bertelsmann and 50 percent owned by Sony.