YouTube Music Key already has enemies: Azoff questions service’s songwriter royalty rates

Irving AzoffThe launch of YouTube Music Key is an exciting development for the streaming music sector, but “the new service already has a very vocal and powerful detractor. Irving Azoff, a music industry veteran and leader of the recent Global Music Rights venture, told The Hollywood Reporter that he is prepared to remove the works by 42 of his clients from YouTube. The threatened move could see about 20,000 copyrighted works taken away from the fledgling service, as well as from the original YouTube video platform.

“The way fans listen to music is evolving daily,” Azoff said. “GMR is going to give songwriters and publishers an opportunity to engage in meaningful licensing for their intellectual property. The trampling of writers’ rights in the digital marketplace without any regard to their contribution to the creative process will no longer be tolerated.”

Global Music Rights is a new performing rights organization that aims to secure larger royalties for songwriters. Randy Grimmett, one of Azoff’s colleague’s at GMR, cited the direct deals publishers have made with Pandora as examples of how the music industry should also be approaching YouTube.

Anna Washenko


  1. With only 42 clients the number of hit songs anyone would remember is minimal so forget them – they are easy to work around … If the Eagles disappear into the digital ooze who would really know – or care.

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