YouTube: Indie Takedown Imminent


The YouTube and Indie label furore continues as the platform reportedly prepares to take down videos of artists whose labels haven’t accepted terms for their new streaming service within a matter of days.

As reported, YouTube are locked into a dispute with trade associations from across the globe including WIN, AIM and IMPALA, who have described the terms as “indefensible and unnecessary”. YouTube essentially offered an ultimatum to independent labels that wouldn’t accept the licensing agreement, stating that their content would be locked out of the video streaming service altogether.

According to the Financial Times via Music Week, YouTube’s head of content and business operations Robert Kyncl stated that 90% of the music industry has signed a contract to license YouTube’s forthcoming subscription service, expected to launch this summer. This apparently includes a deal with the major labels that includes shared advances worth $1bn.

Kyncl said: “While we wish that we had 100 per cent success rate, we understand that is not likely an achievable goal and therefore it is our responsibility to our users and the industry to launch the enhanced music experience”.

WIN and AIM Chief Executive Alison Wenham told The Guardian that YouTube has “Suffered a simple but catastrophic error of judgement in misreading the market".

Wenham added: "We have tried and will continue to try to help YouTube understand just how important independent music is to any streaming service and why it should be valued accordingly. Music fans want a service that offers the complete range of music available. This is something that companies such as Spotify and Deezer do, both of whom have excellent relationships with the independent music sector".

Some independent digital distributors such as The Orchard and Believe Digital have also reportedly agreed terms with the service, further complicating the situation for independent labels and artists.

Videos from huge selling artists including Arctic Monkeys and Adele will apparently be pulled by the end of the week. According to trade bodies Merlin and IMPALA, independent labels represent over 30% of the entire market share of the recorded sector and 80% of all new releases.

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