In an increasingly bullish world whee the value of art has been devalued more and more and the internet has become a digital battleground YouTube have threatened to remove music videos by artists such as Adele, Arctic Monkeys and Radiohead, because the independent labels to which they belong have refused to agree terms with the site.
Oon one side of the argument youtube are claiming to be bringing new revenue streams to the music industry whilst indie labels claim that the media giant owned by google are making a “grave error of commercial judgment”.
Google, which owns YouTube, has been renegotiating contracts as it prepares to launch a music subscription service And several my independent labels are not happy about signing.
youtube have threatened to block the videos in the next few days.
The three major record labels – Universal, Sony and Warner – have all agreed terms with the site, but smaller independents are holding out. claiming that they are being offered “highly unfavourable terms”. Radiohead guitarist Ed O’Brien accused Google of trying to “strong-arm” labels into accepting low fees.
Alison Wenham, who runs the Worldwide Independent Network , which represents the independent music community said YouTube is “making a grave error of commercial judgment in misreading the market”.
“We have tried and will continue to try to help YouTube understand just how important independent music is to any streaming service and why it should be valued accordingly,” she added.
Is this a glimpse into a future when the so called freedom provided by the internet is finally controlled by the big companies? What’s the solution? Could the indies get really indie and start their own youtube style service?