Online music video site MUZU signs up global indies

Sun Jul 19, 2009 6:01pm EDT
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By Kate Holton

LONDON (Reuters) - MUZU.TV, an Irish-based video website, has signed a licensing deal with the agency behind the world's leading independent music labels, giving it access to footage from the Arctic Monkeys to Radiohead.

The site, which pays artists through advertising when their music is played online, has won plaudits from the industry for its design, with users watching over 7 million videos a month.

The latest deal is significant because Merlin, which represents the world's most important set of independent music rights, has not signed licensing deals with any other video music site including YouTube or MySpace.

For Muzu, the deal will further boost its offering after it signed deals in some territories with the four major labels: Universal, EMI, Sony and Warner.

Merlin chief executive Charles Caldas told Reuters it chosen Muzu because it recognized the value of Merlin's rights and enabled artists to make money from their video content.

"Independent labels have found many ways to monetize their audio content but there have been very few outlets that repay the investment that it takes to create video content," he said in an interview.

"So having an outlet that not only allows you to find a commercial way to showcase your video but also is helping and enabling you to digitize content that you might not otherwise is a really valuable opportunity for any label."

Caldas said video footage had become increasingly important with the introduction of fan and band websites, social network pages and music DVDs.   Continued...

<p>Rock band Arctic Monkeys perform during a concert at the Benicassim International Festival in the eastern Spanish town of Benicassim July 22, 2007. REUTERS/Heino Kalis</p>