During the month of January music video upstart MUZU.tv announced three deals. The first deal was with major label EMI. The deals to follow included the Beggars Group and the Cooking Vinyl label. Why TMV believes the deals to warrant writing about are as follows; The MUZU.tv proposition is an ad-funded model yet label representatives signing the deals have basically stated that they view MUZU.tv as a “key online video partner”. Why are we not hearing the same thing from labels when it comes to YouTube?
The first deal announced with EMI provided MUZU.tv with EMI’s audiovisual catalogue, which includes; concerts, backstage footage, documentaries and music videos. Albeit this deal was not groundbreaking it does now mean MUZU officially has two of the four major labels on board. TMV also understands a further deal with a third major will be announced in the not to distant future as well.
The deal with Beggars group announced at Midem on January 19th includes the 4AD, Matador, Rough Trade and XL Recordings labels. According to Ciarian Bollard, Co-founder and Director of Business Development at MUZU.tv stated “We are delighted to have this deal in place with beggars – and see it as the jewel in the crown of our indie content offering”. TMV understand that unlike the EMI deal the beggars deal was on a global basis.
Simon Wheeler, Director of Digital at Beggars Group said of the deal, “We are happy to be partnering with MUZU.TV to bring the wealth of video content from our labels to market. MUZU.TV is different from other online video channels – it was purpose-built for the music industry and we believe it holds great revenue potential for our business through a music-focused service. We see MUZU.TV as being a key online video partner going forward.”
The groundbreaking deal adding to the significance of all of these deal wins in TMVs opinion is in fact the deal signed with Cooking Vinyl. Why you ask? And the answer is this: Martin Goldschmidt, Foundering and Managing Director of the label stating “To date, we have resisted doing deals with a lot of online video platforms because we didn’t feel their offering fairly compensated our artists and had the right focus. MUZU.TV is different from other online video sites – it was purpose-built for the music industry and we believe it holds great revenue potential for our label through a music-focused service. We see MUZU.TV as being a key online video partner going forward.”
TMV asks why are labels praising MUZU.tv and yet publicly slating YouTube and withdrawing their content from YouTube? Is it because they see a fairer revenue share being offered in the MUZU proposition as opposed to Google? Or is it that YouTube would not grant labels equity in Google? Where Merlin is in terms of negotiating a global deal for all its indie labels in terms of YouTube and MUZU.tv is anyone’s guess. Do the above deals unofficially point to the view that perhaps MUZU.tv understands the requirements of music content owners in terms of licensing and respect for their rights better than its competitors. TMV believes it does. What do you the readers thing?