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No WIN for YouTube


Independent music labels across the globe have clashed with YouTube over seemingly strong-arm licensing tactics for its forthcoming streaming service.

The video streaming behemoth and second largest search engine in the world (owned of course by Google, the world’s largest search engine) are preparing to launch a service that will go up against the likes of Spotify et al, placing audio tracks alongside video content.

However, the Worldwide Independent Network (WIN), an umbrella body that brings together indie label trade groups from around the world, has called the proposed licensing terms “unnecessary and indefensible”.

This follows YouTube allegedly cutting deals with the major labels and threatening that if Indie labels don’t agree to their reportedly woeful licensing terms, they will be blocked from other parts of the service- A playground bully move that suddenly makes Daniel Ek look like a patron saint of artist relations as he passes go to collect 10 million paying subscribers.

WIN and AIM Chief Executive Alison Wenham said: “Our members are small businesses who rely on a variety of income streams to invest in new talent. They are being told by one of the largest companies in the world to accept terms that are out of step with the marketplace for streaming”.

Wenham continued: “We believe, as such, that these actions are unnecessary and indefensible, not to mention commercially questionable and potentially damaging to YouTube itself, given the harm likely to result from this approach”.

Negotiations between WIN and YouTube seem to have stalled for the time being, with YouTube issuing a statement to The Guardian saying: “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, not a great week for Google and industry relations, given that former U2 Manager Paul McGuinness referred to the search giant as “the greatest theft enabler on the internet” during a keynote interview at the IMS conference in Ibiza last week.

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