NIXSolutions: YouTube’s AI Music Licensing Deal with Major Labels

After debuting generative AI tools last year that create music in the style of a variety of famous artists, YouTube has decided to pay Universal Music Group (UMG), Sony Music Entertainment, and Warner Records lump sum fees in exchange for licensing their songs to legally train its AI tools. This move is part of YouTube’s broader strategy to enhance its AI capabilities while navigating the complex landscape of music rights.


YouTube has stated that it has no plans to expand the Dream Track tool, which only supported ten artists in testing, but confirmed it was “in talks with labels about other experiments.” The platform aims to license artists’ music to train new AI tools that YouTube plans to launch later this year. The amounts that YouTube is willing to pay for the licenses have not been disclosed, but these will likely be one-time (lump sum) payments rather than royalty-based agreements.

Context of YouTube’s Announcement

YouTube’s announcement comes just days after the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), which represents record labels Sony, Warner, and Universal, filed separate copyright infringement lawsuits against Suno and Udio, two of the industry’s leading companies creating music using AI. According to the RIAA, their products were produced using “unlicensed copying of sound recordings on a mass scale.” The association is seeking damages of up to $150,000 for each violation.

Sony Music recently warned AI companies against the “unauthorized use” of its content, and UMG was prepared to temporarily block its entire music catalog on TikTok, adds NIXSolutions. In an open letter, more than 200 musicians called on tech companies to stop using AI to “infringe and devalue the rights of creative people.”

We’ll keep you updated as this situation evolves and as YouTube rolls out its new AI tools. Stay tuned for more developments.