YouTube Threatening to Block Indie Labels Refusing to Join Its Paid Streaming Service

Jack White and Adele could be blocked in certain countries.

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As YouTube is setting up for the launch of its new ad-free streaming music service, the company has explicitly threatened to block artists from using the entire platform, free or paid, for artists refusing to agree to the new terms.

According to the Verge, YouTube's head of content and business operations Robert Kyncl was to one to confirm plans to block the troublesome clips in order "to ensure that all content on the platform is governed by its new contractual terms."

So far, YouTube has signed deals with all of the major labels, so right now it's indie labels' turn to react and decide the YT future of such class acts as Jack White, Adele, Arctic Monkeys, Queens of the Stone Age and more.

"Our goal is to continue making YouTube an amazing music experience, both as a global platform for fans and artists to connect, and as a revenue source for the music industry," the company's spokesperson stated. "We're adding subscription-based features for music on YouTube with this in mind - to bring our music partners new revenue streams in addition to the hundreds of millions of dollars YouTube already generates for them each year. We are excited that hundreds of major and independent labels are already partnering with us."

As "a source familiar with the situation" further told the Verge, YouTube doesn't want to launch a paid, ad-free service and then be forced to show certain videos in ad-supported more, making the current solution the only option.

The first blocks are expected to drop within just a few days, although the new service is not expected to be launched soon.

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72 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Floyd Phoenix
    In other news: Youtube is slowly ruining everything that made it so popular in the first place as it devolves into intense greed driven madness.
    Jehuty
    At which point a new streaming site will emerge, and go through the same vicious pattern.
    Kueller917
    This really. To begin with there's already multiple ways to stream music. YouTube only has an edge for its population. If they push people away that group will likely leave.
    azrael4h
    They've already drove away alot of the gamers to Twitch, keep it up and there'll just be the bigger acts on You Tube, and they'll leave once they realize the viewers aren't there anymore.
    PoloSG68
    Next week: Jack Conte (Of Pomplamoose) comes up with another fantastic idea that helps content creators but remains realistic with goals and funds. A new streaming service that doesn't suck corporate balls like YouTube...
    Robslip
    you are so right Floyd!! They are right down the same black hole as Facebook now,...except this is stuff we actually care about!
    serge450
    all i read was "money money money, we are greedy bastards who will prevent you from enjoying quality music because we want money.
    maddog61
    And this is why we can't have nice things...
    p_a_morgan
    Right. And, of course, I'm sure this will come along with a brand new awesome Youtube layout that doesn't work!
    iommi600
    What a bunch of tossers. Also, I don't even care about YT's streaming service. Spotify all the way.
    blackone666
    So, if we all install Adblock, will that ruin the internet? just curious...
    Pretelethal
    You can actually disable some sites on Adblock, to allow them to get the ad revenue they deserve. So it depends how picky you are.
    p_a_morgan
    No, it'll just turn the internet back to the way it was, before every person on the planet began trying to capitalize on it.
    Dynamight
    Why did this article get so many downvotes? It relays the news quite accurately and without spelling/grammar error, for once.
    the_bi99man
    That's because the entire article, word for word, was copy/pasted from another site. A site that probably employs editors, and people who graduated 8th grade.
    MaaZeus
    Because here we do not usually vote if the article is good or bad but the news itself. This is a really shitty move from Google, hence the poor rating.
    RoadRunner939
    Well , I guess it's their site so they can do whatever the **** they want with it.
    TheLiberation
    That's always a poor argument because it's very near-sighted. If they keep doing retarded decisions like this (and I don't think YouTube has had anything but negative changes in the past year or so), they're going to join the list of portals who went from ultra-popular to forgotten soon.
    jackdude500
    To be fair I don't think its their fault, YouTube gets a lot of crap from the record labels so this is probably some sort of compromise
    The_Wilrus
    Is there a way said indie labels could create a separate site for videos possibly through crowd funding? I would donate and pay for a comprehensive service where I got the music I wanted without the YouTube garbage of Vevo adds everywhere and 30sec commercials for a 2 minutes song.
    adambauman31
    youtube is doing essentially that. making you pay a subscription to listen to ad-free music... but the indie labels haven't agreed to their terms yet so they may be banned from youtube.
    mr.smirnov
    Check out Patreon. Its pretty much kickstarter for content creators who put out regular content.
    Jimjambanx
    Youtube has been making some of the worst decisions and **** ups in the site's history in the past couple of years. Forced Google+ integration, new comment section that makes 4chan look like a kids book, new copyright system that allows any company to make a claim on any video that has so much as 5 seconds of a ****ing song or screenshot in the background and severely hurting content creators, and now this.
    svelle
    Actually it's not even that much of a stupid idea. If you look at it from an artists perspective it only affects you if you're part of a label. You can still put out music if you're independent. Also it states nowhere that it's a purely subscription based model. Just that they want to bring subscription based features in the future, which they already do if a YouTuber decides to do so. And this could finally end the legal situation in Germany between YouTube and the GEMA. I'm pretty much looking forward to this as long as it won't become subscription only. If it does I hope I don't have to pay double as I already have a Google Music All Access subscription.
    BaptizedinFire
    This. Anything that can mean trouble for old-timey labels who refuse to live in the here and now is probably a good thing at this point."Indie label" is pretty much a gimmick these days anyway; if you've got "Jack White, Adele, Arctic Monkeys, Queens of the Stone Age and more" in your ranks you're hardly Noise Records or 4AD and you're certainly not strapped for cash. It's not like the days when an indie label necessarily would mean the difference between cult status and complete obscurity for a band. And today, a band like the Cocteau Twins could probably reach more people using the internet cleverly by themselves than 4AD helped them reach at the time.
    HitmanJenkins
    But those artists are a minority, people like 4AD still put out really small bands and you have newer labels like Topshelf and Polyvinyl. Indie Labels will always be relevant, as there's only so much you'll be able to do on your own, and the sorts of people who follow those labels will likely check out most of the releases they put out too.
    Tom_Tremlohoho
    "We want to make a ton of money and too much is never enough. We want a holiday to Barbados every week and we want other people's hard work to pay for it. The reason we bought Youtube in the first place is because we saw the potential to make lots of money to fill our leeching pockets, all the while claiming that our only goal is to aid the up-and-coming artist. We even delayed the ignition of our plans, keeping Youtube the same way, so that people would believe that it wouldn't change as a result of new ownership, and instead is changing because the times are forcing it to do so. We don't think anyone will cotton on. As you can see, Youtube is beginning to entwine itself in the chains of commercial media. We think that no one will realize how unimportant our product actually is, and how insignificant a contribution it is really making to their lives. The world doesn't need us, but we have enough money to enforce the contrary." Go **** yourselves Youtube, if you need me I'll be outside reading a book.
    Pit_
    YouTube IS Google. The Google+ will probably slowly swallow Youtube entirely and you will need a G+ account to login to YouTube.
    Robslip
    they already direct you to create a google+ account if you sign up now.
    Eirien
    You don't actually need a G+ account to login to YT, you only need one to comment. But I agree that Google should stop trying to force their failed social network on people. Google's arrogance will be their demise.
    rasmniel
    I think this is fair. If you want to generate revenue from using their servers and services, you have to adhere to their policies on distributing media. If you don't want to subscribe to a paid music service by YT, go listen to music somewhere else. The music store, or perhaps the bay... Go figure!
    azrael4h
    Except that You Tube is generating revenue from the media that the indie artists are uploading. You Tube's entire existence is based on ad revenue from ads shown before videos, and virus-laden banner ads scattered around the site. Had no one put content up, You Tube would be a dusty memory along with MySpace, Frienster, and those other sites. With them driving content creators away at a rapid pace, they'll soon find themselves in that same boat.
    crazysam23_Atax
    "You Tube's entire existence is based on ad revenue from ads shown before videos, and virus-laden banner ads scattered around the site." And this would be an ad-free streaming service, therefore this streaming service would be generating money solely from the paid subscription of the users. What's the issue?
    RBM01991
    In other news, indie sucks and its being driven out. Good.
    HitmanJenkins
    You do realise that Indie, especially in the context of record labels, is just short for independent right? That encompasses ALL the record labels that aren't owned in any shape or form by the Big Three.
    danielw9980
    The actual article does not say that YouTube will take down any videos or anything, they're just not going to be included. The videos aren't going anywhere!
    --ESTRANGED--
    thats not the point. smaller independant labels wont have youtube as a platform to expose their artists to a wider audience
    the_bi99man
    What part of "explicitly threatening to block artists from using the entire YouTube platform — free or paid — if they do not agree to the terms of the new streaming service." did you not understand?
    adambauman31
    pretty much like any other music streaming service on the planet.... I'm not surprised
    The Spoon
    Not looking forward to this. It might be inefficient but I liked streaming YouTube for music.