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YouTube and UMG remastering 1,000 iconic music videos from SD to HD

Making the case that great music videos are “works of art” on the level of museum paintings or sculptures, YouTube and Universal Music Group today announced a partnership to “remaster some of the most iconic music videos of all time.”

The goal is to “ensure current and future generations will get to enjoy these timeless classics as they’ve never before been experienced.” At launch, 100 music videos have already been remastered and are available “in the highest available video and audio quality.” This includes:

Billy IdolBeastie BoysBoyz II MenGeorge StraitJanet JacksonKissLady AntebellumLady GagaLionel RichieMaroon 5Meat LoafNo Doubt/Gwen StefaniSmokey RobinsonThe KillersKissTom Petty

Tom Petty’s music video for “Free Fallin’” was released 30 years ago, while “Sabotage” by Beastie Boys’ dates back 25 years ago. A more recent remaster is for Lady Gaga’s 10-year-old “Bad Romance.”

Both the Google video site and UMG have committed to upgrading nearly 1,000 music videos. They will be added weekly, with completion expected before the end of 2020. Video descriptions will feature a “REMASTERED IN HD!” label and #Remastered hashtag.

For years, some of the greatest music videos in YouTube’s catalog have been available only in the outdated standards originally intended for tube televisions with mono speakers.

In practice, this will result in many videos jumping from SD to 1080p HD quality, with YouTube noting an optimal experience for mobile, desktop, and living room screens. If you’ve previously liked or added a music video to a playlist, nothing will break. Behind-the-scenes, the remastered YouTube music videos will seamlessly retain the same URL, view-counts, and number of likes.

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Avatar for Abner Li Abner Li

Editor-in-chief. Interested in the minutiae of Google and Alphabet. Tips/talk: