YouTube is blocking all premium music videos to UK users after failing to reach a new licensing agreement with the Performing Right Society
Patrick Walker, YouTube's director of video partnerships, told BBC News that the move was regrettable.
Steve Porter, head of the PRS, said he was outraged... shocked and disappointed by YouTube's decision. The PRS has asked YouTube to reconsider its decision as a matter of urgency.
This action has been taken without any consultation with PRS for Music and in the middle of negotiations between the two parties. The body, which represents music publishers, added: Google has told us they are taking this step because they wish to pay
significantly less than at present to the writers of the music on which their service relies, despite the massive increase in YouTube viewing. This action has been taken without any consultation with PRS for Music and in the middle of negotiations
between the two parties.
Walker told BBC News the PRS was seeking a rise in fees many, many factors higher than the previous agreement: We feel we are so far apart that we have to remove content while we continue to negotiate with the PRS. We are making the message
public because it will be noticeable to users on the site.
The music royalties collection body for the UK has sharply cut its prices for internet music tracks, paving the way for more online streaming services.
Under the new pricing plan from PRS for Music, which represents composers and lyricists, digital music sites will have to pay 0.085p for each track streamed, down from the previous rate of 0.22p.
PRS, which negotiates song and lyrics licence fees for the public performance of music, has agreements with radio stations, television broadcasters and online music channels in the UK. It said that the new plan would enable the digital market to grow.
The cut may entice YouTube and popular internet radio service Pandora back to the UK market.
YouTube blocked thousands of music videos by the biggest names in rock and pop for British users after failing to reach agreement with the PRS.
YouTube said in a statement: We welcome any efforts to make licensing costs more realistic, but as we're still in discussions with the PRS to agree licence terms for YouTube we're unable to comment further.
Music videos featuring the world's leading artists will return to YouTube after the website settled a royalty dispute that left British users unable to access tens of thousands of videos for six months.
Google, owner of the video-sharing website, has signed a deal with PRS for Music, which collects royalties for songwriters and composers for music played in Britain.
Although PRS had offered the website a choice between paying 0.22p per song played or 8 per cent of its UK music turnover, it is understood that the new deal is a one-off lump sum. Neither party would reveal the figure, but it is thought to run to tens
of millions of pounds.
YouTube is still in a dispute with Warner Music, which has resulted in videos by artists such as Madonna and Kid Rock being pulled from the site.
The company is also planning to offer new films to rent. YouTube is said to be in talks with major film studios including Lions Gate Entertainment, Sony and Warner Bros about putting full-length films on the site. It is thought that titles would become
available on the same day that they come out on DVD.