Wednesday, 18 June 2014

YouTube says it will purge indie resistance

It seems that YouTube is going ahead with its threat to purge material owned by Indie labels who have refused to sign a new YouTube streaming agreement - and the labels will see content pulled "in a matter of days" - that's according  YouTube's Head Of Content And Business Operations, Robert Kyncl, in an interview with the FT.  The global grouping for indie label trade bodies, the World Independent Network and pan-European indie labels trade body IMPALA have already announced their intention to take the dispute to the European Commission, arguing that YouTube's moves are anti-competitive - they also requested that the EC implement emergency measures. But Kyncl told the FT that the deal being offered would see the indie labels paid "fairly and consistently with the industry", and that YouTube's payouts to the music industry would hit $2 billion "soon". Responding, WIN said that the terms on offer are in fact "highly unfavourable and non-negotiable" and "undervalue existing rates in the marketplace from partners such as Spotify and Deezer". Meanwhile Alison Wenham, who heads up both WIN and UK indie label group AIM, disputed the suggestion that there are only a few stragglers causing a fuss who wouldn't be noticed if they were gone. For one thing, those stragglers include labels like Beggars Group and Domino who between them represent some major artists saying that indie labels who had agreed to sign the new deal are "very much in the minority", adding: "Put simply, by refusing to engage with and listen to the concerns of the independent music sector 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".

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