YouTube is looking to ramp up the quality of music videos that live on its platform — particularly clips of yesteryear that don’t meet today’s crystal-clear quality standards.
In collaboration with Universal Music Group, YouTube is looking to remaster iconic music videos from the likes of Billy Idol, Boyz II Men, Lionel Richie, No Doubt (pictured above), George Strait, Smokey Robinson, The Killers, and more. YouTube is working to improve both the video and audio quality of the aforementioned UMG clips, which it likens to “priceless paintings or sculptures in museums” that drive cultural influence but occasionally “need some TLC,” per a release.
The updates will roll out to 100 music videos today, which are now available in the highest audio and video quality. YouTube supports up to 4K video quality, though clips were previously only available in standards designed for linear TV viewership. The partnership will be ongoing, with new clips added every week for the next year, YouTube says. A total of 1,000 remastered titles will be available by 2020’s end.
While the remastered clips will replace the original versions of the videos — including Tom Petty’s “Free Fallin“ (see below), the Beastie Boys’ “Sabotage,” and Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance“ — they will retain the same URL, viewcounts, and likes figures. The new clips, denoted by a ‘Remastered’ notation in the description box, will be available on both YouTube and YouTube Music.
“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,” Stephen Bryan, YouTube’s global head of label relations, said in a statement. “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.”