Ugly dispute with indie labels is provoking anger online, so what are the facts – and rumours – about YouTube’s streaming plans?
The accusation from WIN, representing its independent label members, is clear: if labels don’t sign up for YouTube’s new paid music service at the (non-negotiable) terms, their entire catalogues will be blocked on YouTube – all of YouTube, not just the new premium bit.
Note too the “significantly inferior” terms reference in Wenham’s letter. At WIN’s press conference, songwriter (and Guardian journalist) Helienne Lindvall said that “We’re hearing that a billion dollars has been paid by YouTube to the major labels” in advances for its new service.
Some of the anger in this dispute is the perception by indie labels that their major rivals have inked lucrative deals with YouTube while leaving them with the crumbs.
That billion-dollar figure is hearsay, of course. But note that YouTube said in February that it had paid $1bn out to music rightsholders in royalties so far, and then consider Kyncl’s quote in the FT interview: “That number is going to double soon.”
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