Wednesday, 18 June 2014

youtube plan to strangle independents

The Guardian newspaper reported

    Independent artists could disappear from YouTube "in a matter of days" after the Google video service confirmed it was dropping content from independent labels that have not signed up for its upcoming subscription music service.
And that subscription service will basically be much like the Spotify model. They'll charge people to watch and listen to music without ads. They further add "YouTube will block videos from labels that do not sign licensing deals for the new premium tier".
The independent labels have naturally accused You Tube/Google of bullying tactics. Billy Bragg joined in saying "They are in danger of launching a streaming service that lacks the innovative and cutting edge sounds that independent artists bring."
The Guardian report goes on
    A YouTube spokesman said the site "provides a global platform for artists to connect with fans and generate revenue for their music", adding: "We have successful deals in place with hundreds of independent and major labels around the world, however we don't comment on ongoing negotiations."

So that's a nice state of affairs. YouTube over the years has been an outlet for much of the independent music about and their fans use it as a first stop for the latest releases. And that is exactly what YouTube have been waiting for and the reason the whole pay to hear service will march ahead no matter who protests.
By the way their royalty rates to the labels will be less than Spotify return to artists, which is pretty mean as it is. You just knew it was going to happen. With major record labels squirming over their diminishing returns over the last decade and more they are the first to embrace the whole business. Much better to get what you can than little or nothing at all. The superstars and big business will reign supreme.

Will this eventually catch up to artists that self release there own material? So far they've not been included as independent labels, and rightly so, but the first sign they do there could well be a mass exodus to Vimeo or another rising video channel. And we'll be in that queue as well.

Here's a track that Valis at Trip-Inside-This-House radio program started off his show with this week. It's by Secret Colours doing their version of the Lennon/Beatles classic "Tomorrow Never Knows". It's self released and has no adverts.