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You Might Want Your MTV, But Universal Doesn’t

Posted by on August 9, 2010

So even MTV.com isn’t playing music videos anymore? Well, they still are, just not music from the world’s largest label group.

CNet.com is reporting that MTV’s website will no longer be streaming videos from Universal after negotiations with UMG about financial agreements went downhill.  “MTV has been unwilling to negotiate a fair syndication deal with Vevo to carry our artists’ videos and consequently our videos will not be shown on their online properties,” A spokesman for UMG revealed to CNet.

In a separate statement, MTV said the following:

“During our recent discussions with Vevo, we were unable to reach a fair and equitable agreement for rights to stream UMG artists’ music video. As a result, UMG has elected to pull their music videos from our Web sites. We are disappointed by this move and sincerely hope that UMG will work with us toward a fair resolution.”

MTV reportedly declined to enter into UMG’s standard financial agreement, which has been signed by other companies such as YouTube. This is a hard loss for the once king of music videos, losing videos from such big artists as U2 and Lady Gaga. The break off, though, also shows labels trying to regain power in a struggling industry. Record companies have long been complaining about the lack of revenue they’ve received from video streaming. In addition, Google (who owns YouTube) is rumored to be in the works of launching their own online music store, allowing labels to regain control from iTunes.  Is the industry finding new alternatives to gain leverage?

If so, labels need to move forth carefully. As Hypebot points out, fans can easily steer away from legitimate channels and towards sources who aren’t under their control. This could easily backfire against them, then again it wouldn’t be the first time they let that happen. And as for MTV, I’m sure they aren’t sweating too much. There’s got to be a lot more people streaming Jersey Shore than going to mtv.com to see something as old fashioned as a music video.

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Categorised in: Video, Web 2.Oh-no