Wall Street Journal:

Cover videos are among the most popular on YouTube, perhaps because they combine the appeal of established hit songs with the allure of new performers putting their own spin on the songs. Such cover videos can be an career steppingstone. Justin Bieber’s path to stardom began with posting covers of pop songs on YouTube, where his manager spotted them.

But until now, little if any of the ad revenue from those cover videos went back to the band members, producers and songwriters who composed the song, or the music publishers who represent them.

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