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YouTube pacts with EMI for videos

Duo deal to offer online music

LONDON — EMI has become the fourth and final major music distrib to ink a deal with YouTube that will allow the Web site’s users to play copyrighted musicvideos without fear of litigation.

EMI has also committed to working with YouTube and its parent company, Google, to establish new business models to generate revenues from the online use of its musicvids. YouTube will be allowed to carry videos by EMI artists such as David Bowie, Coldplay, Gorillaz, Lily Allen and Norah Jones.

YouTube has already signed similar pacts with Universal, Warner and Sony BMG.

“Through this agreement EMI Music and its artists will be fairly compensated for their work,” said EMI Group chief exec Eric Nicoli.

Though it’s last to the table, EMI is the one label that has seen how YouTube can quickly create a star. Capitol Records tyro rock act OK Go became an Internet sensation thanks to its video of band members navigating treadmills, which in turn led to significant album sales.

Financial details were not disclosed, but it is likely that EMI has an agreement similar to those of its rivals; each of the other three diskeries took a reported $50 million stake in YouTube, plus a share of revenues its own content generates. Company will be sharing advertising dollars, too.

YouTube is testing new audio library tool AudioSwap, which allows users to replace audio in a clip with audio from the library being built with help from the major labels.

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