Google Accused of Harming Indie Music BusinessAdded: Tuesday, May 27th, 2014
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The search engine Google was alleged of forcing indie music labels to sign up for its new streaming music subscription service, thus doing evil. In the meantime, the service in question has not officially been announced yet, but it is known that it will compete directly with Spotify, Deezer and their competitors.
Now Google is accused of using its control of YouTube to force indie music labels to sign up to the new service. At least that’s what the music industry trade association called the Worldwide Independent Network (WIN) claims. According to the outfit, YouTube has approached the labels directly with some “template contract”. The labels say that the company threatened that if they don’t sign the contract, all their music videos will be removed from YouTube. Besides, the terms of that contract are non-negotiable, and they undervalue their music if compared with what Spotify, Rdio, Deezer and other subscription streaming services offer.
The Worldwide Independent Network issued a press release to announce that all planned when planned to issue a press release lambasting YouTube, with quotes from YouTube opened new talks. But the press release was released to AFP under embargo and the music foundation forgot to retract it.
The CEO of the Worldwide Independent Network explained in the original release that the small labels who rely on various income streams to invest in new talent are currently being told by the market giant to accept terms that don’t actually correspond with the marketplace for streaming. The outfit therefore believes that such actions are unnecessary and indefensible, let alone commercially questionable and potentially damaging to the well-known streaming service itself, given the harm likely to result from this approach.
Industry experts confirm that sending contracts directly to indie music labels is quite a controversial move, because many of them are also members of another trade body, Merlin. The latter negotiates collective licensing deals with new digital music services on their behalf. Merlin CEO has also criticized YouTube in his speech at industry conference Music Connected. He quoted musician Billy Bragg who suggested that artists who criticize Spotify for its low payments to musicians “should be marching to YouTube central with flaming pitchforks”.
Merlin CEO explained that YouTube does pay the least, but it is nevertheless the service that is the most well-funded and operated by the biggest company in the world. This means that their figures are by far the worst, whether they are measured on a per-stream basis or a per-user basis.
The Worldwide Independent Network is concerned is over the letters that they artists said they received from Google, where they are threatened to get their music videos on YouTube blocked if they refuse to sign up to the new service. The outfit has given YouTube a 24-hour deadline to rescind the threatening letters, but the result thus far remains unknown.
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Tuesday, May 27th, 2014
|posted by (2014-05-31 06:16:36)|
|Not surprising at all.||
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