Rumours that Youtube is set to launch a new music subscription service are picking up as the video streaming site has confirmed that it will block videos by indie labels that are holding out against its royalty deal. Several independent labels have apparently found the royalty rates to be far too low, and are attempting to negotiate for a better deal.
Youtube’s head of content and business services, Robert Kyncl, doesn’t actually believe that everyone will agree to the terms and is prepared to block the videos from labels that fail to sign on. It does seem like the service is using strongarm tactics to get musicians on board with their grand plan; and Youtube has even gone on record with Reuters, saying that it believes this new subscription service will provide labels with a new revenue stream. The Worldwide Independent Music Industry Network, however, disagrees and finds the terms “highly unfavourable” to independent musicians.
This does not entirely mean that all indie music will be blocked on Youtube, as the videos will still be available through other channels like Vimeo. Essentially, it would only block the channel officially run by the indie label. Which would ultimately shut down any sort of reach those labels might have.
Youtube’s music subscription service is expected to function like other similar streaming sites like Spotify. That is it will allow users to access content for free, although paying the subscription fee will remove any ads played between songs. Of course, Google also already owns Google Play Music All Access subscription service; which is essentially the same thing. How these two will exist together is a massive question, although it is likely that the subscription would be merged into a single entity to avoid users paying multiple times for the same thing.