Skip to main content

industry > News

YouTube Threatens To Block Independent Labels In Contract Dispute

May 23rd 2014 | 12:57pm | Scott Fitzsimons
A feud between YouTube and independent music labels around the world is heating up amid claims that the Google-owned company have threatened to block independent content from their streaming platform if they don't sign non-negotiable contracts.

YouTube, who many recognise as the world's biggest streaming service through their video streaming platform, are believed to be developing a new music streaming offering. Today the Worldwide Independent Network [WIN] have claimed that despite striking separate deals with the three major labels – Universal, Sony and Warner – the internet giant has been unwilling to negotiate with the independent sector.


YOUTUBE VS THE INDEPENDENT LABELS

- YouTube streaming service “imminent”
- Indie labels allegedly offered non-negotiable contracts below what Spotify, Rdio and others pay
- Extensive talks in past 24 hours provide no resolution
- YouTube 'won't comment' on ongoing negotiations


Describing their actions as “Unnecessary and indefensible”, YouTube has allegedly emailed WIN's label members with non-negotiable contracts and threats of content blocking if they're not agreed to.

UK based CEO of WIN Alison Wenham said that independent labels “are being told by one of the largest companies in the world to accept terms that are out of step with the marketplace for streaming. This is not a fair way to do business.”

According to those label members, which include Australian and New Zealand companies, the fees being offered by YouTube are considerably below current market rates – including those of fellow streaming services, Spotify, Rdio and Deezer, who offer artists between $0.008 and $0.005 per stream.

“Extensive” talks between YouTube and WIN over the last 24 hours have resulted in no resolution.

Wenham said her organisation “questions any actions by any organisation that would seek to injure and punish innocent labels and musicians – and their innocent fans – in order to pursue its ambitions.

“We believe, as such, that these actions are unnecessary and indefensible, not to mention commercially questionable and potentially damaging to YouTube itself, given the harm likely to result from this approach.”

A YouTube spokesperson has told theMusic.com.au today, “YouTube provides a global platform for artists to connect with fans and generate revenue for their music. We have successful deals in place with hundreds of independent and major labels around the world, however we don't comment on ongoing negotiations.”

Eighteen countries around the world have expressed support, with the Australian Independent Record Labels Association [AIR]'s Chairman David Vodicka, also a board member of ARIA and PPCA, saying, “It seems obvious that a streaming/subscription service from YouTube is imminent and if the offering does not house the indie sector YouTube is plainly making the claim that this sector holds no value for them.

“In an age where New Zealand artists spring from the very independent ethos to achieve worldwide acclaim it makes no sense for YouTube to pursue this tactic of exclusion.”

Comments

Related Articles


Music > News

Carlton Dry Independent Charts Steady As Veterans Hang Tough

Carlton Dry Independent Charts Steady As Veterans Hang Tough


Poster IT

Connect with The Music

Subscribe to Daily Newsletter

Galleries

<span>Chelsea Wilson</span><br />Toff In Town

Chelsea Wilson
Toff In Town

<span>Courtney Love</span><br />Festival Hall

Courtney Love
Festival Hall

<span>Kasabian</span><br />Eatons Hill Hotel

Kasabian
Eatons Hill Hotel

<span>The Stevens</span><br />The Curtin

The Stevens
The Curtin

<span>Sydney Reclink Community Cup 2014</span><br />Henson Park

Sydney Reclink Community Cup 2014
Henson Park

<span>Courtney Love</span><br />Thebarton Theatre

Courtney Love
Thebarton Theatre

<span>James Reyne</span><br />The Enmore

James Reyne
The Enmore

<span>The Aston Shuffle</span><br />Oxford Art Factory

The Aston Shuffle
Oxford Art Factory

<span>Courtney Love</span><br />Metro City

Courtney Love
Metro City

this week's magazine

Digital Version

The Music Store

Australasian Music Industry Directory
The ultimate print sourcebook for all the contacts…
Jun 18th 2014
Arts Advertising Packages
The Music Arts Packages provide promotion in The Music…
Jun 18th 2014
Indie Band Advertising Packages
The Music Indie Band Packages provide promotion in…
Jun 18th 2014
Galleon Krueger for Sale
Galleon Krueger Bass Amplifier. 1001RB As new, current…
Jul 12th 2014
Jazz guitarists wanted for weekend jams.
We are a bass and drums unit rehearsing in St Peters…
Jul 12th 2014
Premier Sydney Punk/Rock Band seeks Drummer
One of Sydneys Premier Punk Rock Bands seeks energetic…
Jun 18th 2014

Listen