Why is My Music Video Blocked in Germany?

Posted on 08/18/2015 by Amanda Willis

We’ve had a lot of questions coming in on why videos can’t be seen in certain countries. Let us clear up some confusion about why Vevo videos played through the syndicated YouTube Vevo channels in are blocked Germany.

Q: Why is my music video blocked in Germany?

A: In Germany, YouTube has a continuous battle with the country’s publishing organization, known as GEMA, which claims the Google-owned video site (YouTube) doesn’t offer a fair royalty agreement to publishers and songwriters. As a result, music videos on YouTube are restricted and viewers are met with the message “Sorry, this video is Unavailable”

Vevo, who is co-owned by the Universal and Sony music companies, syncs it’s library of music videos through various platforms and apps, the most common synced feed is Vevo’s YouTube Channel. Google has been fighting GEMA since 2009 over how much it should pay copyright holders for streaming songs. Currently, tens of thousands of music videos are being blocked in Germany from both local and international artists that are represented by the collecting society.

Many people stumble across Vevo videos on the YouTube home page or search box, rather than visiting the original Vevo channel or homepage. However, Vevo has is working on expanding and promoting its other channels to become less reliant on YouTube.

The Google vs. GEMA stand-off has prevented Vevo from using it’s YouTube channel in Germany even though Vevo generally pays out higher royalties than YouTube itself. However, YouTube is the go-to destination for music videos in most areas and there can be a lot of money made for artists and publishers if the dust should settle. Until then, music videos played on YouTube will continue to be blocked by GEMA.

Q: But why are some music videos played in Germany?

A: For any music video on YouTube that you might be able to watch in Germany, the writer/producer’s publishing house were most likely able to come to an agreement with GEMA to get the video live. Since two parties were involved in creating the song (such as the writer and producer) it can be much easier to come to an agreement without multiple publishers involved. These cases are handled between publishing societies and do not involve the labels. The conversation around an agreement happens between YouTube, publishing societies and GEMA.

For any additional questions you may have about your music video, use the hashtag #AskVydia on social media and look out for the answer on our next episode of the Ask Vydia Show. 

Looking for more information on what Vydia can do for your music video? Consider monetization and distribution for your campaign. Wouldn’t you like your video to be aired on national television or climbing the online charts? Sign up today!