That hasn’t happened yet, but the Google-owned video site has started to make behind-the-scenes manoeuvres to get licensing deals in place for it. A big part of that is to get all the publishers who make the site such a hit to sign up to the new tiered subscription model – which has hit a bit of a snag.
The Financial Times has reported that a lot of independent labels have refused to sign the new licensing deals, and YouTube have responded by threatening to remove the offending labels’ videos from the platform altogether.
YouTube’s head of content and business operations, Robert Kyncl, is quoted as saying:
We will begin blocking videos within a matter of days to ensure that all content on the platform is governed by our new contractual terms.
Apparently YouTube claim to have made deals with 90% of the music industry, but the remaining 10% of ‘indie’ labels represent some serious talent that could soon be heading to a new video-hosting platform. Both XL Recordings (Atoms For Peace, Adele, Jack White, Radiohead, The Horrors, The Prodigy, The xx etc…) and Domino (Arctic Monkeys, Franz Ferdinand, Hot Chip, Jon Hopkins, Wild Beasts etc…) are said to be among the ‘rebel labels’ who are unhappy with the new terms YouTube are proposing.
Kyncl tried to defend YouTube’s position by suggesting their changes have the best interests of the ‘users’ at heart, saying:
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.
But let’s not kid ourselves, YouTube – and Google – want to make a lot more money out of the billion-or-so visits the site gets a day, and if record labels don’t like the new order they can leave. A result which is in no way good for the ‘user’.
What do you think about this, join the discussion in the comments below…