Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

YouTube Threatens to Drop Some Indie Artists

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

YouTube Threatens to Drop Some Indie Artists

Article excerpt

YouTube announced this week that it will be releasing a music- streaming business in the next few weeks, following Amazon's entry into the business and Apple's coming purchase of Beats, which has its own online streaming service.

Music lovers normally applaud such moves, especially from Google- owned YouTube, the undisputed giant of online music streaming with 1 billion unique visitors a month.

However, YouTube also announced Tuesday that it will be dropping content from some independent music labels that do not sign a contract for its new music streaming service. Artists that could be dropped from the free YouTube site include Adele, The Arctic Monkeys, Vampire Weekend, and Radiohead, among others.

Even videos of other musicians playing covers of songs by a blocked artist could be taken down, YouTube said. New artists, who have no label, will not be affected.

The dispute is over money. YouTube confirmed to the Monitor that it has signed contracts with 95 percent of the music labels it currently works with to stream their music on the new service. Some independent labels don't want to sign because YouTube isn't offering an advance to the label for the right to use their music.

"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," Robert Kyncl, YouTube's head of content and business operations, told the Financial Times.

The new streaming service looks to improve the viewing experience for customers. The new features include the chance to watch videos without ads, the ability to cache videos to watch later offline, and the opportunity to listen to entire albums.

One record label, which has already signed a deal, said in a memo obtained by Music Week that it liked the new arrangement. …

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