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YouTube Snubs Indie Labels From New Subscription Service

New music service faces controversy over indie labels' lack of interest

Google owned social media streaming site YouTube have angered both fans and representatives of the indie music market after apparently proposing to snub their labels after failing to agree to the terms of the subscription service.

Source: wired.com

The labels that are under threat from YouTube's cold shoulder include XL Recordings and the Beggars Group, labels which include huge global stars such as Adele, The Arctic Monkeys, Vampire Weekend and the American artist Jack White. These labels make up for 10% of the music that YouTube already has the rights to. 10% doesn't seem like a huge amount, but in terms of trying to get a music streaming service off the ground in an already saturated market, it is a big deal.

YouTube's plans for the service have been in the pipeline for over a year and according to YouTube officials, the service will enable users to watch videos or listen to music without any ads or and on any device even if not connected to the internet. Their plans are due to have to square up to the already successful competition, Spotify, Pandora and Rhapsody.

YouTube has been accused of treating independent labels unfairly in comparison to the larger labels of Sony, Warner and Universal — labels who have already agreed to YouTube's terms. Along with this news, Robert Kyncl, YouTube's Head of Content, told Financial Times that the record labels — representing 90% of the music industry  had signed up to the service and that internal testing of the service will begin in the "coming days".

Source: mashable.com

Despite their apparent success in label acquisition, the absence and animosity from independent labels is still casting a shadow over YouTube's music service, with the CEO of the Worldwide Independent Music Industry Network (WIN) — a network which supports indie labels — Alison Wenham criticising YouTube's controversial move saying that "by not giving their subscribers access to independent music YouTube is setting itself up for a failure." Wenham has a valid point there as while they are already setting their streaming service amongst tough competitors, these competitors have 100% sign up success with indie labels already on-board their services.

The service is due to be launched, despite the sign up struggle, later this year on a pay-monthly pay plan. This marks the end of an era for YouTube, which originally launched as an inclusive platform for legal user content to be viewed by all.

YouTube has defended its service and actions saying "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."

Well, 90% of an experience, that is, as YouTube plans to continue with the streaming service's development even if that means they allow indie bands to be excluded.


Hi my name is Julie! Fresh out of university studying journalism, I love to have a good laugh and I believe in always keeping an open mind. In my spare time, if you don't catch me between two pages of a book, you'll most likely find me in front of the computer or the TV! I also like to make cakes if I have the time (and the ingredients!)... or as my friends like to call them, Bundy Buns. Make sure you follow me @JulieAtSMF.

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YouTube Snubs Indie Labels From New Subscription Service Reviewed by Anonymous on Thursday, June 19, 2014 Rating: 5
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