YouTube to block videos from indie bands…smaller labels not happy with new dealIn 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?

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  1. There seem to be a few grey areas here. What about artists that are entirely DIY – bands which don’t have a record label of any kind, or perhaps have a ‘label’ that’s really just a name on a self-released CD?

    What about fan videos – footage of bands taken at gigs? Or unofficial fan-uploaded videos that are just a music track with some random ‘found’ visuals or maybe a pic of the album cover?

    Nothing I’ve read about these proposals mentions anything that’s relevant to the grassroots end of music. The big losers are always quoted as being well-known artists on reasonably large labels, like Adele and Radiohead. But how – if at all – does this affect the DIY zone?

    Every news site I’ve seen simply regurgitates the same basic story. Nobody asks the interesting questions…

    Personally, if I were a band, I’d keep my videos on YouTube for as long as possible, because that does seem to be the number one go-to place for anyone who wants to see music videos right now. At present, it’s better to be there than not there, That situation might change, of course – and I’d make sure I was ready for that change.

    I’d also make my videos available on as many other sites as possible, and I’d make sure everyone knew this – especially as many of the YouTube alternatives offer a better experience, without stupid ads getting in the way.

    Again, this is a point I have not seen anyone make. YouTube isn’t the only place to see videos online. It’s not a case of YouTube or nuffin’. There are plenty of alternatives – and maybe it’s time to check them out.

    Here are a few to be going on with…




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