YouTube Music and Universal Music Group change the way you see music

Jun 19, 2019 - Milestones And Trends

Great music videos are works of art that continue to drive cultural influence across generations, and just like priceless paintings or sculptures in museums, from time to time they need some TLC.

Now, in a pioneering partnership, YouTube is working with Universal Music Group to remaster some of the most iconic music videos of all time, to ensure current and future generations will get to enjoy these timeless classics as they’ve never before been experienced.

Starting today exclusively on YouTube, you’ll find more than 100 music videos in the highest available video and audio quality, including titles from Billy Idol, Beastie Boys, Boyz II Men, George Strait, Janet Jackson, Kiss, Lady Antebellum, Lady Gaga, Lionel Richie, Maroon 5, Meat Loaf, No Doubt/Gwen Stefani, Smokey Robinson, The Killers, Kiss, Tom Petty and more!

And this is just the beginning. YouTube and Universal Music Group are committed to fully upgrading nearly 1,000 music videos, painstakingly remastering some of the most important works in the history of the format to the highest possible standards. Each week over the next year, we’ll add more titles, with all 1,000 titles expected to be available before the end of 2020.

“It’s really an honor to partner with Universal Music Group and change the way fans around the globe will experience viewing some of the most classic and iconic videos. The quality is truly stunning,” said Stephen Bryan, Global Head of Label Relations at YouTube. “It's our goal to ensure that today's music videos -- true works of art -- meet the high quality standards that artists' works deserve and today's music fans expect.”

For years, some of the greatest music videos in YouTube’s catalog have been available only in the outdated standards originally intended for tube televisions with mono speakers. With this new initiative, we’re upgrading videos, vastly improving the viewing experience, whether on mobile, desktop or living room screens. The new videos will seamlessly replace the original versions on both YouTube and within YouTube Music, while retaining the same url, view-counts and “likes.”

Michael Nash, Executive Vice President of Digital Strategy at UMG, said, “We’re excited to partner with YouTube to present these iconic music videos in the highest audio and video quality possible. Our recording artists and video directors imbued these videos with so much creativity; it’s great to enable the full experience of their vision and music. These videos not only look amazing on any screen now, they will be enjoyed by music fans for decades to come.”

Celebrate the anniversary of some of the most iconic music videos of all time by seeing the remastered versions for the first time ever on YouTube, including:

  • Tom Petty’s music video for Free Fallin released 30 years ago
  • Beastie Boys’ music video for Sabotage released 25 years ago
  • Lady Gaga’s music video for Bad Romance released 10 years ago

YouTube Music will continue to roll out remastered music videos from your favorite UMG artists, so be on the lookout for “Remastered” in the description of videos as they transform from SD to HD, exclusively on YouTube!