Monday, May 26, 2014

Youtube to indie labels: sign contract or get blocked

Via Digital Music News: "YouTube has already inked lucrative licensing deals with Warner Music Group, Universal Music Group, and Sony Music Entertainment for the upcoming YouTube Music launch.

 But according to dozens of independent label groups now speaking out, YouTube has flatly refused to negotiate separate agreements with smaller rights owners, instead offering boilerplate agreements with far inferior terms.

Beyond that, YouTube has now threatened to block the content of any independent label that declines to sign their non-negotiable contracts."

WIN (Worldwide Independent Network) has put out a press release on this:

"WIN, the organisation that represents the interests of the global independent music community, has responded to news that YouTube intends to block the content of members who do not sign a new music streaming agreement describing it as ‘unnecessary and indefensible’

WIN was formed in 2006 to represent the global independent industry, which boasts the second largest global market share after Universal.

As reported by several news sources, YouTube is expected to launch a new music streaming service. The service has apparently negotiated separate agreements with the three major labels – Sony, Warner and Universal – but according to WIN’s trade association colleagues has yet to reach any substantive agreement.

At a time when independent music companies are increasing their global market share WIN has raised major concerns about YouTube’s recent policy of approaching independent labels directly with a template contract and an explicit threat that their content will be blocked on the platform if not signed.

According to WIN members, the contracts currently on offer to independent labels from YouTube are on highly unfavourable, and non-negotiable terms, and undervalue existing rates in the marketplace from existing music streaming partners such as Spotify, Rdio, Deezer and others.

The release includes quotes from member groups around the world, including NZ...

Scott Muir – Deputy Chair of Independent Music, New Zealand
“It is regrettable and unacceptable that YouTube tends to abuse its dominant position as a digital channel to impose unfair conditions on independent labels. Further, the threat of blocking or removing their content would have the negative effect of preventing consumers from enjoying a substantial part of the whole music catalogue.”

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