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The golden days of free music videos on YouTube will soon be over. The Google-owned video site announced that it ha...
The golden days of free music videos on YouTube will soon be over. The Google-owned video site announced that it has sided with “hundreds of major and independent” music labels for a new paid music service, expected to launch at the end of the summer.
YouTube has signed deals with 95% of the music labels it normally partners with, but there are still 5% of record labels that do not agree with YouTube's “highly unfavourable, and non-negotiable terms.” These 5% will most likely be banned from the platform in order to maintain a consistent user experience for the paid service.
While YouTube hasn't commented on the terms of its deals, it has claimed that the new paid service will create revenue for the music industry. In a statement, YouTube said, “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.”
All of this implies that independent artists, including the Arctic Monkeys and Adele (yes, Adele!), will no longer be found on YouTube. And that amazing recording you took with your smartphone at the Foals concert? You won't be able to upload that either. Fan-made videos will go down in YouTube history.
For a monthly fee, the new paid service will allow users to watch videos and listen to ads-free music on any device, even when they are offline. Users can also listen to an artist's full album, instead of only a single song.
The Internet is swirling with outrage. As if YouTube doesn’t make enough money from ads, and music labels don’t already make millions from the video views! Users are angry and think YouTube’s decision to charge consumers for its content is a mistake.
Maybe YouTube has finally got the hint that streaming services are the future of the music business, and is ready to get in on the action. Spotify offers streaming of millions of songs for a monthly subscription fee of $9.99, while Pandora offers its ad-free internet radio service for $4.99 monthly. Google also launched a music streaming service only last year, for a subscription fee of $9.99 per month. How is YouTube going to compete with that, do you reckon?