YouTube will begin blocking videos from indie musicians if that artist’s label continues to refuse to agree to terms for the forthcoming YouTube music streaming service.
Reports of YouTube launching a music streaming/ subscription service first emerged last year, but more recently it looks like the Google owned video giant is finally getting ready to launch.
The service is said to be similar to Spotify, Rdio and others, in that it will offer free ad-supported music streaming, with a paid tier on top that provides ad free and offline streaming.
According to the Financial Times, around 10% of the music industry has not yet agreed with the terms of YouTube’s new service.
Holdouts are said to include XL Recordings, whose artists include Adele and The XX, and Domino, who represent Arctic Monkeys and Franz Ferdinand.
The holdouts are said to be exclusively Indie labels, with all main record companies having signed up to the service.
Their gripe in not coming to the party appears to be (unsurprisingly with the music industry) a question of money, and YouTube not offering them enough.
You can go either way in considering sides in this dispute: yes, YouTube is using its market position to strong arm smaller record companies into accepting a deal they don’t like.
But on the flip side how is it a deal accepted by 90% of the music industry magically not acceptable to some Indie labels on the question of royalty payments?
The only possibility here is pure greed.
Those companies that don’t sign on are simply encouraging people to pirate their artists given there will be one less legal alternative to hear them, and that’s not going to help anyone.