Audiam Paying Copyright Holders For Music on YouTube - Fordham Intellectual Property, Media & Entertainment Law Journal
post-template-default,single,single-post,postid-6881,single-format-standard,ajax_fade,page_not_loaded,,select-theme-ver-3.3,wpb-js-composer js-comp-ver-6.7.0,vc_responsive

Audiam Paying Copyright Holders For Music on YouTube

Audiam Paying Copyright Holders For Music on YouTube

Since its creation in 2005, YouTube has become notorious for allowing “billions of people to discover, watch and share originally-created videos” and has undoubtedly established itself as one of the world’s most expansive music sharing websites. With an unprecedented number of videos uploaded and distributed each day, however, it has become increasingly difficult for artists to track, and consequently get paid, every time his or her work is featured in user-generated content posted on YouTube. Audiam, Inc., a New York start up company, may have discovered an answer to this unique “‘data confusion’ problem that hampers the ability of creative professionals to make a living in today’s digital market.”

Audiam founder and CEO Jeff Price, also the founder of TuneCore (one of the world’s largest music distribution and publishing administration entities), launched the company along with fellow TuneCore founder Pete Wells just seven months ago. As Price has explained, Audiam uses a “unique proprietary technology combined with music copyright expertise” to “‘bridge[] the gap between music publishers and tech companies’ like Google Inc., which owns YouTube.” “[B]y identifying unauthorized use of recorded music on YouTube, sending that information to Google, tracking usage, collecting previously uncollected royalties, and distributing those payments to rights-holders,” Audiam seeks to get copyright holders, music publishers, labels and artists paid for the use of their music on YouTube.

Audiam is not the only business to attempt to pay copyright holders through the monitoring of music posted to YouTube, and its platform has been compared to the efforts of companies like CDBaby and Topspin. Despite existing alongside of such businesses, Audiam has continued to distinguish itself from its competitors.  Most notably, Audiam has recently surfaced in the news as a result of the outpouring support it has gotten from some of the music industry’s most influential personas. Audiam has secured $2 million in funding through the support and investments from a diverse group of individuals in the music industry; money which Price hopes to use both “for hiring and to improve the company’s ability to ‘ingest and keep track of all this data,’ about songs, videos, rights holders in creative works, and royalties or payments due.” Audiam’s investors range from Grammy award winning artist and songwriter, Jason Mraz, and multi-platinum selling artist and songwriter, Jimmy Buffett, to founder and owner of Epitaph and Anti-Records and co-founder of and songwriter for Bad Religion, Brett Gurewitz, and software engineer and leading advisor to mobile and cloud companies, Jonathan Siegel.

In addition to the music industry’s outpouring of financial support, musicians, publishers, and other copyright holders have trusted Audiam with their own businesses. As Audiam proudly publicizes on its website, the company now represents a catalog of over 100,000 songs and has an expansive clientele ranging from independent artists to some of the most significant music copyright holders in the world. Audiam provides its client’s with 100% of the money from views on their own videos, and charges a 25% administrative fee for any money it gets its clients from other people using their music in their YouTube videos. While the music industry may not be able to filter the content posted on YouTube, Audiam may be the middleman copyright holders need to monitor the songs in YouTube’s user-generated videos and compensate the artists, labels and producers for their own original work. To learn more about Audiam’s platform and the rapidly expanding company, check out

Jennifer Newman

Jennifer Newman is a second-year student at Fordham Law School and a staff member on the Intellectual Property, Media & Entertainment Law Journal. She spent a year and a half studying journalism and communications at The George Washington University, and graduated from Binghamton University with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology. Jennifer's interest in sports and entertainment law stems from her childhood dream of being a gymnast for the rest of her life, her quick realization that she needed a new dream, and her unhealthy obsession with