YouTube: 1 – UK’s PRS: 0 and kissing a lot of butt

Back in March Duncan wrote a post about how U.K’s Performing Rights Society (PRS) decided to go ahead with their gouging of online video sites like YouTube only to have YouTube say basically – screw you. At which point YouTube started blocking most music videos on the site to United Kingdom viewers.

YouTube said in a blog post that it would block premium music videos in the UK until it can agree to a new contract with The Performing Rights Society (PRS) that is “economically sustainable.”

“But PRS is now asking us to pay many, many times more for our license than before,” YouTube’s Patrick Walker wrote. “The costs are simply prohibitive for us – under PRS’s proposed terms we would lose significant amounts of money with every playback.”

Fast forward not even a month and that groveling sound you hear is the PRS sweet talking YouTube to come back after PRS halved its royalties. Mind you it is no wonder that PRS wants the video giant back as YouTube contributed 40 percent of PRS members’ plays during one point last year.

But Shaw was clear that won’t see Google’s site treated as a special case and denied the rate slashing was specifically designed just to lure it back: “Our organisation is here to license the entire market… This consultation period started long before the YouTube dispute arose.” Shaw admitted that YouTube was significant but said PRS has lots of online payees like Spotify and Napster.

Source: paidContent:UK

Okay, sure, whatever helps you sleep at night. The fact is YouTube traffic carries some pretty heavy weight and increasingly trade groups like PRS are realizing that they need YouTube much more than the video giant needs them.