Video sites such as YouTube will be forced to pay more to musicians and record companies under plans to reform European copyright laws, BBC News
The draft directive will also require publishers and producers to tell performers or authors what profits their works have generated.
The music industry has long criticised YouTube for failing to pay enough for content such as music.
News publishers will also be recognised as rights holders for the first time.
Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the European Commission, said on Wednesday: "I want journalists, publishers and authors to be paid fairly for their work, whether it is made in studios or living rooms, whether it is disseminated offline or online, whether it is published via a copying machine or hyperlinked on the web." The Commission has not detailed how it would force sites such as YouTube to pay more to artists.
The plans also call for easier access to online content across all EU countries and to reform copyright rules for research and education.
Andrus Ansip, vice-president for the digital single market, said: "Our proposal will ensure that more content will be available, transforming Europe's copyright rules in light of a new digital reality."
More than 1,000 artists, including Lady Gaga and Coldplay, signed a letter calling on the Commission to take steps to address the "value gap".
It said sites such as YouTube were "unfairly siphoning value away from the music community and its artists and songwriters".
The body which represents the British music industry said this week that YouTube was still not paying artists enough for their music.