(by Nikhil Pahwa and Brindaalakshmi K)
Update: T-Series and YouTube now have nice things to say about each other. Apparently, there is great camaraderie between them. The press release we received has the following quotes:
Bhushan Kumar, CMD said, “I would like to dedicate this success to all our fans all over the world who have helped us reach this milestone. I would like to congratulate my entire in-house digital team and the YouTube team for this tremendous feat. We look forward to achieving greater heights with our dedication and passion to offer quality content and experience to our discerning consumers worldwide”.
Anthony Zameczkowski, Head of Music Partnerships, YouTube APAC: “The Internet is the global distribution channel of the future and TSeries’ recent momentum is a great example of how music labels are using YouTube to innovate online and find new audiences around the world.”
Neeraj Kalyan, President T-Series: “Great camaraderie with YouTube team and passionate perseverance coupled with creative innovation of T-Series digital team has been the winning mantra for us and will always remain at the core of this success. The past two years of our association with YouTube have been a great learning experience and we hope to achieve many more such first at T-Series. The proliferation of smart devices and growth in internet penetration, coupled with ever increasing popularity of Bollywood is adding momentum and traction is improving with each passing month. The growth acceleration in subscribers and video views is really encouraging for the industry and Video Search platforms will surely see further growth in the months to come.”
Earlier today: Things change: once fighting a bitter court battle with YouTube, music label T-Series has now announced having reached 1 billion video views on the video platform, with 2.3 million subscribers on its main channel on YouTube, reports Bollywood Hungama. MediaNama readers might remember that T-Series had filed a case in the Delhi High Court against Google and YouTube, and had obtained a restraining order for copyright infringement, followed by an interim stay order, back in 2007; in 2008, the two parties were give time to settle out of court, which they did, in 2011. Interestingly, seven months later in September 2011, YouTube had announced its partner program in India enabling video content creators to become content partners with YouTube and monetize their work through advertising on the website.
As a part of its lawsuit, T-Series had argued that YouTube allowed users to upload copyrighted content on its platform, thus enabling infringement, and that it was monetizing this through advertisements on the site, with no revenues being shared with copyright owners and publishers. This was a time when T-Series really flexed its legal muscles, going after a host of online music initiatives:
– Ibibo Web Private Limited was been disposed off on 18th of October 2010 (detailed filings, our coverage)
– MySpace Inc: one case was disposed off on 6th March 2009 (detailed filings), while in another case against the same company, the Judgement has been reserved (detailed filings, our coverage)
– Yahoo: the case is still pending, and the next hearing is 27th April 2011 (details, past coverage)
– Guruji: A criminal complaint against search engine Guruji, and got the founders arrested.
While the details of the settlement were not disclosed, it would have been surprising if T-Series hadn’t taken a minimum guarantee from YouTube, and also enabled monetization for T-Series on its music uploaded by users. Copyright holders on YouTube use what is known as Content ID, wherein the Content ID identifies a video which matches content submitted by copyright owners, YouTube notifies the content owner and owners may choose to either monetise the duplicated video, block it or track it in which case the viewership analytics of the duplicated content will appear on the content owner’s YouTube account.
T-Series’ official YouTube channel offers videos of Bollywood songs, Bollywood song lyrics, behind the scenes, making of films, among others, and it also has channels like Apna Punjab that offers Punjabi Pop, Hamaar Bhojpuri for Bhojpuri content, Bhakti Sagar for spiritual music, Pop Chartbusters for Indipop videos, Shabad for Punjabi Devotional content, Bollywood Classics for 1980’s and 1990’s music, Regional Music Channel and also channels that offer feature length Bollywood Movies. We’re assuming that their monetization extends beyond just these channels.