YouTube To Block Indie Labels Who Do Not Sign Music Service Contract

By 06/17/2014
YouTube To Block Indie Labels Who Do Not Sign Music Service Contract

After several delays, YouTube is almost ready to launch its streaming music service, which will compete with programs such as Spotify. While YouTube has come to terms with most of the labels it wishes to feature in its music library, there are a few holdouts, and the Google-owned site has responded by blocking those labels’ music videos.

According to FT, which first reported the story, about 10% of the music industry has not yet agreed with the terms of YouTube’s new service. These holdouts include XL Recordings, whose artists include Adele and The XX, and Domino, whose artists include the Arctic Monkeys and Franz Ferdinand. In general, the labels in question represent indie artists; the major players in the music industry have already signed up for the service.

These holdouts are refusing to sign YouTube’s contract because they believe the deal–which would license tracks for the new service–contains revenue-sharing terms that are too aggressive. The squabbles between YouTube and indie labels were first reported back in May, when the site was first accused of strongarm tactics. Since then, several labels have turned to the European Union, which they hope will intervene in the dispute.


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In the meantime, the holdouts will see their respective artists’ music videos blocked on YouTube as the site makes good on its promise to black out dissenting labels. According to YouTube head of content Robert Kyncl, this process will begin “in a matter of days,” so get your “Rolling In The Deep” plays in while you still can.

As it attempts to resolve this dispute, YouTube will begin testing its music service, which was first rumored for a late 2013 release. Therefore, we can expect the service to arrive soon, with or without the current holdouts.

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