Music co’s are really in bed with YouTube

According to a story in Thursday’s New York Times (I love the fact that we can read NYT stories the night before the paper comes out), the major music labels that signed deals with YouTube to allow users to mashup music and videos got ownership stakes in the company as part of those deals, as some speculated even at the time.


The Times story says that Universal — the one that was threatening the loudest about suing YouTube before the deal was done — as well as Sony BMG and Warner Music all received a stake that is now worth about $50-million as a result of the Google acquisition. Only EMI has not done a deal with YouTube (at least not yet). Edgar Bronfman Jr.’s Warner was reportedly the first one to approach the company about taking a stake.

That looks pretty darn smart right now. That $50-million stake could pay for an awful lot of artists’ fees, or lawyers’ fees, or encouragement for new artists — or country club memberships for record executives. Whatever.

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