Google row with PRS impacts UK YouTube users

Google has blocked UK users from viewing music videos on YouTube after pulling out of negotiations with British music rights body PRS for Music.

Google said PRS, which collects royalties for artists, was demanding too much for each video play, exceeding revenues YouTube said would be generated from placing ads around them.

A YouTube statement said the negotiations following the expiration of a previous licence from PRS had failed to reach a mutually agreeable conclusion.

“The costs are simply prohibitive for us,” it said. “Under PRS’s proposed terms we’d lose significant amounts of money with every playback. In addition, PRS is unwilling to tell us what songs are included in the licence they can provide so we can identify those works on YouTube. That’s like asking a consumer to buy a CD without knowing what musicians are on it.”

However, PRS for Music said the move was a blow to the UK music industry. The organisation has branded Google’s actions as an “outrage”, saying the search giant’s actions were taken without any consultation.

Steve Porter, CEO of PRS for Music, said, “We were shocked and disappointed to receive a call late this afternoon informing us of Google’s drastic action, which we believe only punishes British consumers and the songwriters whose interests we protect and represent.”

This story first appeared on

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