By Yinka Adegoke
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Music videos from artists like Madonna, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Sean Paul will be legally available for the first time on YouTube, a popular online video sharing site, after signing its first commercial partnership with Warner Music Group.
YouTube, which has over 100 million video viewed everyday, and Warner Music, the world’s fourth biggest record company, said on Monday that the pact would help Warner distribute music videos, behind-the-scenes footage, artist interviews and original programming.
The companies said YouTube users would also be able to incorporate music from Warner’s catalogue into the videos they create and upload.
Music videos belonging to Warner Music and other record companies are regularly uploaded to YouTube by its users but usually without permission from the labels.
The partnership, which has been in discussions for months, was signed late on Sunday afternoon. It comes just days after Universal Music Group, which is owned by Vivendi, described YouTube and News Corp.'s social networking site MySpace of being “copyright infringers” who he said owe the music industry “tens of millions of dollars.”
The strong language has prompted speculation that a lawsuit is imminent from Universal or some other owner of copyrighted material.
YouTube and Warner Music said the deal would enable both parties to generate and share revenue created by advertising, which will be featured around the videos.
YouTube said it would use a new advanced content identification and royalty reporting system, set for release by the end of the year, to identify the music videos and help manage payment to the record labels.
It said YouTube and Warner Music would share revenue from advertising on both music videos uploaded by the artist and user uploaded videos that incorporate audio and audiovisual works from Warner’s catalogue.
Last month, YouTube announced an advertising deal with Warner Music as the start-up’s first partner for its new Brand Channel advertising to promote the new Paris Hilton album.