YouTube has teamed up with Universal Music Group to remaster nearly a thousand classic music videos, the companies announced today, including those 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, Tom Petty and others.
Many of the most iconic music videos on YouTube were only available in the “outdated standards originally intended for tube televisions with mono speakers,” YouTube explained in an announcement. But today, people watch videos across a number of platforms — desktop, mobile and TV — and they often do so in high-definition. The old videos didn’t hold up.
With the new partnership, both the video and audio quality will be updated to the highest standards, then the new videos will slide in to take the place of the existing SD versions. They’ll also retain the same URL on YouTube as well as all the view-counts and likes, instead of arriving as new content.
As of today, the companies have already updated more than 100 music videos.
The plan is to fully upgrade nearly 1,000 over the next year, with plans to have all 1,000 titles available before year-end 2020. More videos will arrive on a weekly basis as this program continues, YouTube says.
The videos will be available exclusively on YouTube and YouTube Music — the latter ahead of a planned merger with Google Play Music.
You’ll be able to tell if a YouTube music video has been through the upgrading process because it will read “Remastered” in the video’s description.