Independent music labels, representing the likes of Adele and the Arctic Monkeys, have been threatened with having their videos removed from YouTube as contract ‘negotiations’ break down.
Representing around 30% of the music industry, independent music labels are a significant source of new music. However, it seems to be the case that YouTube, owned by Google, are not prepared to negotiate terms with these smaller labels as it prepares to launch its subscription service.
Planning to compete with Spotify, Google Play and other subscription music services, YouTube has reached a deal with major labels to pay for streaming and downloading. The deal is already rumoured to have cost YouTube $1billion in advances with the same amount expected to be paid again soon. But the Worldwide Independent Network (WIN), which has been acting on behalf of many of the independent labels, has complained that YouTube has been flexing its muscle and only offered ‘unfavourable and non-negotiable’ terms which are significantly inferior to those offered to the international ‘major’ record companies.
The impasse puts in jeopardy the thousands of videos already uploaded on YouTube, which may be blocked from viewing once the subscription service rolled out. According to YouTube executive Robert Kyncl It is due for testing in the coming days.
I spoke about this strange turn of events on Arise News on 18 June 2014. See the report and interview below: