Broadband News

You Tube to block UK music videos

Those people who have been using YouTube for viewing music videos in the UK will be finding that suddenly they are vanishing, but friends abroad will still be able to view them.

The reason for this is that no agreement has been reached between You Tube and the Performing Rights Society (PRS) over royalty fees. Quotes from the parties involved can be read over at BBC News Online, with further commentary from Technology Editor Darren Waters on the Technology blog.

It would seem that the PRS was asking for an increase in the amount You Tube (Google) pays to cover the streaming of music videos. You Tube is calling the proposed rises prohibtive and that the rate applied would have resulted on a loss for each music stream played.

While we do not know for sure, it may be that the PRS was trying to increase income and thus the amount passed onto its members from a web based model, but with the credit crunch YouTube is being hit by reduced advertising revenue and thus felt unable to sustain the proposed fees.

Interestingly this all happened on the day a report from MusicTank arrived. MusicTank is a music business network, created as part of an initiative from the University of Westminster. The report looks into ways for testing the market for selling music in a broadband age and how the business model can shift from buying physical media to the much harder to track digital mediums.

"Another important point is that the business should take more notice of how many people downloading music actually use the tracks they’ve acquired. Many consumers download unlicensed material purely for sampling purposes, often simply playing the track just the once before discarding it forever. So a service that paid rights holders on the music consumers are playing rather than what they have downloaded would be more accurate.

Then there’s the issue of quality. Whilst it might be natural to assume that the majority of legal services would offer up better quality recordings, the reverse is actually the case. A number of P2P sites, for example What.CD, make a point of enforcing a minimum standard of 320kbps for MP3s, whilst some of the more exclusive sites insist on lossless formats such as WAV or FLAC, often accompanied by full scans of sleeves and liner notes. Compare this with the measly 128kpbs offered as standard by the leading digital store iTunes until January 2009 and you can see why for some audiophiles (and those most likely to pay for music in the first place), the pirate option looks attractive."

Extract from "Let's Sell Recorded Music!" report

For those who want to read the report in full they can by providing an email address via on

The irony is that many will simple turn to search engines such as Google itself and depending on the search terms people use they will get official artists sites, or links directing people to torrents, which you think would be the last thing the music industry would want.


The PRS are the same clowns that require you to buy a license from them to play a radio at work. Urrm the idea of radio is the broadcaster has already paid royalties on the basis that everybody can hear the programme.

  • Going_Digital
  • over 11 years ago

I cant believe how the PRS can be so short sited about You Tube video streaming. Sometimes this is the only way new artists can make themselves seen and heard which surely will eventually covert into revenue for everybody. This will only push P2P downloading up another notch which I think this is what this is all about. Its about time the PRS try and embrace new technology and find ways how they can make it work in there favour and not try to control what the never will.

  • squash8720
  • over 11 years ago

I still like a CD with an inlay and all the relevant info. If they sold these for £4.99 top price I would buy weekly. You Tube is potentially good advertising though. The Radio 4 sports reporter mentioned the singing of the pre Superbowl national anthem. A quick google, a quick view and I bought two CDs by the artiste.

  • meldrew
  • over 11 years ago

Once again Britain falls foul of Performing Rights (music tax) when in reality the only person who should cough up the copyright fee is the ISP. After all, we pay enough every month for most often a dire service.

  • collinc
  • over 11 years ago

Youtube is the last place i look at for Music Video content, there are far better sites with far better quality videos available, some of which are totally LEGAL.

Quite funny they picked on youtube, unless im wrong google own youtube and have their own video site full of music videos anyway LOL

Sounds like PRS are another part of a clueless industry.

  • over 11 years ago

TANSTAAFL - There's No Sush Thing As A Free Lunch!
Why shouldn't song writers get paid?

  • jadednovis
  • over 11 years ago

quote"TANSTAAFL - There's No Sush Thing As A Free Lunch!
Why shouldn't song writers get paid?"

LOL you obviously dont realise in the music industry they are often the last to get paid and also one part which gets the least amount of money.

The only real way to support an artist nowadays is to go to their gigs and see them live, buying a CD in a shop doesnt make them even 1% of the cost you paid for that CD, The store selling it and fat BPI and RIAA type suits grab most of the cash, its not even unheard of for these idiots to sue artists when their new album isnt ready by a specific date.

  • over 11 years ago

But surely if the PRS stop youtube showing videos in the UK then Youtube won't have to pay them as much and the greedy PRS will get less income. Seems like shooting themselves in the foot to me.
I've bought loads of cd's after checking them out on YouTube. Sure it's low quality but it gives you a chance to see "try before you buy" so to speak.

  • trollslayer3
  • over 11 years ago

PRS are obviously idiots, if people want music they can download the entire top 40 each week from iplayer and not pay a penny for any cds in the top 40 (or in English those that make the most money each week).

For music videos just go to places like...
and of course others like the well known ...

Just a small selection found in google with search like music videos, music streams and similar terms. OH and all them...... LEGAL so PRS can go swivel on that

  • over 11 years ago

i saw this coming thats why i have downloaded over 500GB of movies all in divx quality mp3 sound an 40Gb of MP3s files all this from P2P sites all for free my target is 1TB of media why because i can an why pay £14 for a dvd when i already pay my ISP monthly also i guarantee that by 2012 the internet will be controlled by the government an ISP so do as much downloading as possible while the air is clear by then you'll probably have to pay for even a preview of a site. is getting ridiculous share them out don't be greedy like the cooperates

  • m101dream
  • over 11 years ago

^^^ If you downlaod movies that you can go to the cinema to see or buy on dvd thats another matter entirely. I dont think anyone with any brains will agree downloading 500gig of divx movies and not buying anything is an ok thing to do. It indicates you not only dont pay for anything at all but are a bit stupid. Quite how you expect billion dollar special effect laden movies to continue being made for you to download if everyone took your attitude i dont know, then again i doubt you have had the sense to ever consider that.

  • over 11 years ago

Watching a music video and enjoying it, liking the artist or the music and buying their tune because of that is totally different to being a pirate

  • over 11 years ago

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