- Associated Press - Tuesday, June 19, 2012

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Independent music publishers and the songwriters they represent will now be paid royalties for music videos of their songs performed by Universal Music artists and played on online services such as Vevo.

The deal announced Tuesday by the National Music Publishers’ Association is a first for independent publishers and comes several years after major record labels cut a similar deal.

Publishers collect and share royalty payments with songwriters every time a song is sold on CDs or services like iTunes. But declining CD sales and the rising popularity of music videos online has made music-video royalties increasingly important.

Fast-growing Vevo made $150 million in revenue last year. CEO Rio Caraeff said in January that monthly video views had risen tenfold from two years ago to 3.5 billion.