YouTube to indie labels: sign up for new music service or your videos will be delisted


YouTube will possibly take down videos of independent artists in a ‘matter of days’ after Google confirmed that it will be dropping content from independent labels who do not sign up for its upcoming music subscription service.

According to a confirmation obtained by The Financial Times from YouTube’s head of content and business operations, Robert Kyncl, the service is planning to block videos by artists and labels who do not sign up for its yet to be released paid service in a bid “to ensure that all content on the platform is governed by its new contractual terms.”

This means that content uploaded by artists like Jack White, Adele, and Arctic Monkeys could vanish from the online video site very soon.

YouTube’s decision has already garnered negative publicity. While Kyncl claims that YouTube has managed to signup labels representing 90 percent of the music industry, there are those including independent labels licensing agency Merlin that estimates that indies account for over 32 percent market share.

Trade body WIN has already filed a complaint with the European Commission about YouTube’s negotiating strategy. WIN claims that YouTube has signed lucrative deals with major music labels including Universal, Warner and Sony and is offering inferior terms to independent artists and labels or face consequences of content blockade.

It is said that YouTube will begin testing its paid service soon. Using the service, users will be able to watch and listen to music without ads and can even download songs on their mobile devices. The service isn’t likely to go public any time soon, but an internal Google-only rollout is expected to commence soon.