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YouTube Set To Block Indie Labels

YouTube Set To Block Indie Labels

Wednesday 18th June, 2014 12:13PM

Video sharing giant YouTube is preparing to roll out a new music subscription service that could see artists on independent labels blocked from the site. YouTube, which is owned by Google, says it is preparing to bring "new revenue streams" to the music industry, and has negotiated terms with major labels Universal, Sony and Warner. However smaller labels such as 4AD, Domino and XL Recordings are holding out. YouTube's head of content and business operations, Robert Kyncl, told Financial Times that videos from independents could be blocked "in a matter of days" if new licenses aren't negotiated to ensure all content on the platform falls under new contractual terms.

The move is being widely criticised with YouTube being accused of trying to "strong arm" labels into accepting low fees. If terms are not agreed soon, hugely popular artists like Jack White, The Arctic Monkeys and Adele may be unable to share content through the site, as they are all signed to independent labels.

Scott Muir, the deputy chair of Independent Music New Zealand, which is a member of the Worldwide Independent Network, says it is regrettable that YouTube is abusing its dominant position as a digital channel to impose unfair conditions on independent labels. He goes on to say, "The threat of blocking or removing their content would have the negative effect of preventing consumers from enjoying a substantial part of the whole music catalogue.”


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