Tuesday, June 17, 2014

YouTube to block indie labels as it launches paid music service

Bruce Houghton/Hypebot

The very public battle between Google and global independent labels fighting for better terms will hit new heights in the coming days with thousands of videos being taken down as YouTube prepares for the launch of its new streaming music service. Popular videos from Adele, the Arctic Monkeys and many others from labels unwilling to sign the YouTube deal "as is" will be banned, according to reports.

Robert Kyncl, YouTube chief of content and business operations, told theFinancial Times that the takedowns will begin “in a matter of days.”

“While we wish that we had 100% 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,” Kyncl told the FT.


The three major label groups have reportedly come to terms with YouTube, but much of the independent label community is fighting back. In Europe, trade group WIN representing 850 labels has asked the EY's Trade Commission to intervene.

Contacted by TechCrunch, a YouTube spokesperson skirted the issue while confirming the new service and not denying that takedowns were coming: “We’re always working on new ways for people to enjoy YouTube content across all screens, and on giving our partners more opportunities to reach their fans and generate revenue. We’ll be adding subscription-based features for music on YouTube with this in mind, and look forward to sharing them with music fans.”

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