Breakthrough: Youtube can now play in Germany

Breakthrough: Youtube can now play in Germany


norman lebrecht

November 01, 2016

After years of being blocked by GEMA, the rights agency, the free online channel will be available immediately to German viewers under a new licensing agreement, signed this morning.

First reports here and here.

Youtube was last seen in Germany in April 2009. Since then, all German viewers have seen is this:



As of this hour, that sign has disappeared (you may cherish it as a collector’s item).

Youtube’s re-emergence is a setback for classical streaming services, which have thrived better in deprived German lands than elsewhere due largely to lack of free alternatives.




  • Scott Fields says:

    No, youTube was not last seen in Germany in April 2009. It has never ceased to be available and in fact I watch it frequently. Some content has been blocked. But not much. Now that not-much-blocked content is available.

  • Bo says:

    Nice fact checking, Norman

    • Gerhard says:

      Exactly. Scott sums it up very accurately above. You really could and should have known. The only question is, did you in fact not know?

  • Robert Holmén says:

    I’m pretty sure my own YouTubes have been seen by my German acquaintances since 2009.

    I hope there isn’t prison time involved.

  • Jochen says:

    Scott is right.
    YouTube refused to pay any royalties to the rights owners of the uploaded material.
    Now, GEMA and YouTube have successfully negotiated a new licensing agreement.
    Before that agreement, YouTube was obligated to block certain videos (by order of a German court) if the rights owners objected. Since GEMA is representing not only its German members but also members of countless international societies like BIEM, ASCAP, SACEM, … those videos had to be blocked in Germany. All the other videos were available.
    I think that this is one very important step for composers and lyricists and the cultural scene in general. An artist’s work has to be rewarded and compensated! Otherwise, I’m afraid, there will be no artists left in a couple of decades…

  • David Osborne says:

    Yes, I’m afraid although the occasional clip is blocked, no problems for me watching YouTube. Fortunately too because I also upload my own work

  • sandy says:

    Jochen, you have given answer in detail. I have got more info about GEMA and YouTube. Thanks.