You read it right, from Monday at 6pm GMT, YouTube UK will block access to virtually every premium music video on the site after failing in negotiations with the Performing Right Society (PRS).
The PRS exists to ensure songwriters, composers and publishers are rewarded financially for the broadcasting of their music.
YouTube UK are saying that the fees PRS are charging are too expensive and would lead to the site losing money every time a video was played.
In a statement, Steve Porter of PRS said the move ”punishes British consumers and the songwriters whose interests we protect and represent”.
Patrick Walker of YouTube UK has stated
“It [the deal] has to be a rate than can drive a business model. We are in the business for the long run and we want to drive the use of online video…The rate they are applying would mean we would lose significant amounts of money on every stream of a music video. It is not a reasonable rate to ask.”
YouTube has also complained of a lack of transparency by the PRS, complaining that the fees don’t stipulate exactly which artists are covered by the deal.
“That’s like asking a consumer to buy a blank CD without knowing what musicians are on it,” a statement from YouTube UK says on its official blog.
As Darren Waters at the BBC points out, YouTubeUK aren’t the first to retreat due to the costs involved in in the UK; Pandora, Real Networks and Imeem have all experienced similar trouble.
With Walker quoting “We are not willing to do this [new licensing deal] at any cost”. The future doesn’t look hopeful.