Downtown x YouTube | Direct Performance License

Downtown Music Publishing has expanded its licensing agreement with YouTube to include performance rights for music streamed on the video platform. By including performance rights, the new deal expands the breadth of rights licensed to YouTube and facilitates more streamlined payments from Downtown to its songwriter clients.

Downtown and YouTube have have been partners for the past three years, working together to license reproduction rights for Downtown’s songwriter clients. The new licensing agreement deepens Downtown’s relationship with YouTube by including a grant for public performance royalties formerly paid through performing rights organizations.

With a quarter of its staff dedicated to the development and implementation of new technologies in the rights management value chain, Downtown has long worked in collaboration with select digital providers in an effort to materialize improved methods of ensuring fair and equitable payment to songwriters. Through joint efforts with YouTube, Downtown has reached another step in its continued investment in content management systems and their dedication to collaborating with both songwriter and licensing partners.

Andrew Sparkler, Downtown’s VP of Business Affairs and Operation, noted, “Certain methods of royalty collection have been in place for over one hundred years and may need to be reconsidered. This broader licensing arrangement, which includes performance income, provides our songwriters with reduced administrative fees, expedited payments and more robust usage and royalty data. We are excited to collaborate with a platform like YouTube, who is also invested in rights management, transparency, accuracy and precision in licensing. ”


Anjali Southward, YouTube’s head of US music publishing said: “Downtown Music Publishing has been a trusted, forward-looking partner for many years. Downtown’s ability to provide YouTube with up-to-date accurate repertoire ownership information is a key component of our partnership. We look forward to continuing our work together and supporting innovative ways to connect songwriters and content providers.”

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To learn more about this news, read Glenn Peoples' exclusive report on Billboard.

For Downtown's position on direct licensing, read our letter to the community on Medium.