This past February, SONGS Music Publishing CEO (and NMPA board member) Matt Pincus wrote an editorial calling on VEVO to pay songwriters and music publishers their fair share for music videos. The editorial pointed out that while VEVO was trumpeting $150 million in revenues annually,
"What has gotten far less attention is the fact that independent publishers, and the many songwriters we represent, have not received any money from VEVO. Ever.
VEVO: $150 million.
Independent publishers and songwriters: Zero."
// original op-ed here //
Four months later, Universal Music Group signed a landmark deal with the NMPA to pay for music videos -- at the same rate as the majors, with a retroactive payment for past licenses.
"We're all navigating through a rapidly changing business environment," said David Israelite, NMPA President and CEO, "and NMPA's job is to ensure that the rights of every songwriter and music publisher are protected. This is a model example of how record labels along with songwriters and music publishers can move forward together to ensure that the licensing process is more effective and efficient, and that all creators are fairly compensated.
Music videos have become an important part of the music business ecosystem. They are not simply promotional tools to help sell recordings. The agreement announced today is an important first step in resolving industry-wide music video issues. UMG deserves credit for being the first record label to partner with the entire songwriting and music publishing community through this model licensing deal."