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YouTube Pacts With UMG In Major Content Deal

LOS ANGELES (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) Google's YouTube video website and Universal Music Group have joined forces to offer users access to thousands of videos from artists on UMG's roster. Users will also be permitted to incorporate music from UMG's recorded music catalog into the videos they create and upload onto YouTube. UMG and its artists will be compensated not just for UMG produced videos but also for the unique, user created content that incorporates UMG music.

UMG's entire catalog will apparently not be available, at least at the outset, as the deal includes an agreement over a process to filter and block UMG content that is not authorized to appear on the YouTube service.

Users will have access to the videos through a video "channel" on YouTube or through a dedicated website, which will also include a social networking component and other exclusive content. Both companies will have a slice of the ad-revenue generated by both websites.

Users will be able to access the content through the main hub at or through a VEVO channel on YouTube through a VEVO branded player (it sounds like you won't be able to embed the content using standard YouTube embeds). Along with UMG's full music video catalogue, VEVO is going to offer a social community and original content including behind-the-scenes video and entertainment.

UMG, the largest label group in the world, is the first of the majors to pact like this with YouTube while others labels such as Warner, have had their content pulled from the popular video sharing website. Sheltering under UMG's umbrella are labels such as: Interscope Geffen A&M, Geffen Records, Island Def Jam Music Group, Machete Music, Mercury Records, Polydor Records, Universal Motown Records Group, Universal Music Classics Group (which includes Decca, Deutsche Grammophon, Philips and ECM), Universal Music Latino, Universal Music Group Nashville (which includes Lost Highway, MCA Nashville and Mercury Nashville), and Verve Music Group.

"With this strategic alliance, UMG brings an incredible array of entertaining video content to the YouTube community to help its artists communicate directly with fans. By allowing the use of their content in user-generated videos, UMG is embracing the creative spirit of our users and music lovers around the world while protecting the rights of their artists," said Chad Hurley, CEO and Co-Founder of YouTube. "As a new distribution channel for media companies, YouTube is committed to balancing the needs of the fan community with those of copyright holders to continue to provide the best video entertainment service on the Internet – one that promotes individuality, respect and originality." – Ian Courtney