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YouTube’s streaming service to block videos from artists/labels that don’t sign up

Posted by on June 17, 2014

youtube-logoWhile streaming music services continue to roll out almost monthly, many in the industry have been waiting for YouTube to unveil their offering. Now there’s a report that says that the new service will block labels and bands that don’t sign on to and agree with the terms of their new paid service. This has pretty huge implications, given that many use YouTube as a source to listen to music. If they’re explicitly blocking artists from using YouTube, free or paid, as The Verge says, not only might many well-known artists’ music not be able to be found on YouTube, but neither will many smaller and developing acts.

So far, 95% of labels have signed up to the new terms. The 5% that haven’t will find their videos blocked from YouTube “in a matter of days.” According to The Guardian, that includes artists like Jack White, Adele and Arctic Monkeys. The Verge quoted a source as saying that YouTube doesn’t want to launch a paid service and then have to show video in ad-supported mode. YouTube says that they can’t offer music on the free service without it also being available on the paid service, so they’ll take down songs that can’t be available on both. There’s still no word on when YouTube’s service, which is rumored to be called YouTube Music Pass, will roll out, but your favorite music might be getting blocked long before then.

Here’s what a YouTube spokesperson said in a statement to The Verge:

Our goal is to continue making YouTube an amazing music experience, both as a global platform for fans and artists to connect, and as a revenue source for the music industry. 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. We are excited that hundreds of major and independent labels are already partnering with us.

There’s no word on exactly what the terms are, or what implication they have for artists and bands that aren’t on labels. But making things even more confusing is that anything currently streaming on Vevo on YouTube won’t be taken down, since they have a deal in place, TechCrunch reports.

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