YouTube steps up row with indie labels by confirming imminent video blocks | Music Ally

This story is taking on a lot of dimensions of what it might be and what it might mean, Music Ally tries to get some late breaking insight. Of particular note is the comment by Radiohead manager Brian Message, read on…

“YouTube executives argue that they cannot offer music on the free service without it also being available on the paid service as this would disappoint its subscribers,” as Billboard puts it.

Meanwhile, you had the BBC suggesting that indie videos uploaded to YouTube via Vevo would still be available, while only “videos which are exclusively licensed by independent record labels, such as acoustic sets or live performances” will be taken down.

Clear as mud, then. Radiohead manager Brian Message was asked at Music Ally’s transparency event last night whether he thinks YouTube will follow through on the threats: “I quite hope that they do! It would be quite interesting to see what happens next!” – not as flippant as it reads in print, but more an admission that it’s only once blocking start happening that the industry will know exactly what YouTube is threatening.

This dispute is bad for everyone: for labels and artists, for fans, and particularly for YouTube, for whom accusations of bullying indie labels will be hard to brush off.


If Spotify is saving Swedish music sales, why aren’t indies celebrating? | The Guardian UK

It’s often hailed as a model for the future of digital music, but the reality is that many smaller labels can’t survive on streaming

When Swedish independent artist/producer/songwriter and label owner David Elfström Lilja checked his admin page on Phonofile, his distributor, the other day to find out how much he had made from his latest single Worlds Collide in its first few weeks of release, his heart sank. For 18,035 streams he had received 8.70 SEK (£0.80). Meanwhile it had sold two copies on iTunes, for which he received 36.37 SEK (£3).

“No one can say that streams don’t cannibalise sales, cause I can’t imagine those streams wouldn’t have generated at least a few sales [if people couldn’t stream it unlimited times],” he reflects.

It’s worth noting that 2013’s 5% rise of music sales in Sweden represents a slowdown, as sales rose by 13.8% in 2012. You’d be hard pressed to find anyone in Sweden that doesn’t know about Spotify by now, so perhaps we’re getting closer to the point where the market is saturated, when all those willing to pay for it are already paying (the company recently dropping listening limits for free users is not exactly helping to push people towards paid subscriptions). And yet revenue levels are nowhere close to where they were in the early noughties.