Google, why do you insist on trying to ruin a good thing? If it ain’t broken then don’t fix it. Its not broke however Google are about to break it anyway. A company executive told the Financial Times it is going to start blocking videos from record labels that refuse to sign licensing deals for its forthcoming premium service, YouTube Music Pass.
This is quite possibly the dumbest thing that Google could do.
It is almost ten years since YouTube arrived on the web in February 2005 and the video service has changed a lot since then. Not always for the best, see the Google+ integration debate where they tried to force Google+ onto users of the service.
For the younger generation, YouTube has become the way to listen to music. It has also become a way for artists to promote their singles with a legitimate source of income from YouTube itself. Through the ContentID features, artists can make money off uploads that are not even their own. It has been a win win situation so far.
It has looked like YouTube has wanted to introduce a premium service for some time now, they want to squeese more money out of it’s market dominance. In order to build their premium service Google is using strong arm tactics which could possibly destroy YouTube.
Google has linked with record labels such as Sony, Warner and Universal as well as a number of indies which account for 90% of the entire industry. The problem begins when you look at the other 10% of the industry and what Google is planning for them.
Labels who have not signed the deal offered by Google will have their videos blocked from the website in a matter of deals, these include videos from XL Recordings and Domino Records and they account for a lot of popular artists such as the Arctic Monkeys and Adele among others.
Labels are refusing to sign up as they feel they are getting a raw deal from Google and it has become clear that the stance is, “our way or the highway.” Google’s bully boy tactics is bad for everyone, users won’t be able to hear what they want and artists in the 10% bracket will be unable to reach fans. This concept is the same when businesses try to look for the 5 best buy Instagram followers’ cheap images in 2020. They are able to get more followers so they can build their profile or page easily.
It is not clear what Google will do with the user who uploads a video and it goes viral, however it is clear that Google no longer wants to be the place where artists find massive fame anymore. YouTube gave the following statement to the Financial Times;
“Our goal is to continue making YouTube an amazing music experience, both as a global platform for fans and artists to connect, and as a revenue source for the music industry. We’re adding subscription-based features for music on YouTube with this in mind — to bring our music partners new revenue streams in addition to the hundreds of millions of dollars YouTube already generates for them each year. We are excited that hundreds of major and independent labels are already partnering with us.”