Last month, we reported on a new music service that YouTube was to implement. In this new regulation, YouTube would have major labels sign up to have their music exposed while obstructing anything from independent labels with their own artists and music. However, artists as big as Adele, Animal Collective, Arctic Monkeys, Basement Jaxx, Franz Ferdinand, Jack White (previously of the White Stripes), SBTRKT, Vampire Weekend, The xx, and more are involved in this battle with the massive video-streaming website. In a deal with major labels, it has become evident that YouTube doesn’t care about the music and only cares about the money.
However, this could all change very soon. Recently, after YouTube’s major decision, the trade of European indie labels called IMPALA and their American equivalent A2IM have filed complaints to the European Union and the Federal Trade Commission on how YouTube is enabling antitrust policies. In other words, although YouTube will cater to the greater labels who agree to there terms and conditions, they would in turn squash the ability for other labels and musicians to compete properly by removing advertisements from their videos (which is a major source of revenue). This could lead to major legal implications facing YouTube with up to five-hundred million dollars in fines alone.
In response, YouTube has agreed to renegotiate contracts with indie labels. As other music streaming sites such as Spotify, Rdio, and Rhapsody have had virtually no issues with indie labels, YouTube should realize that if they don’t shape up their talks with labels like Domino Records and XL Recordings as well as with large trade independent bodies like IMPALA and A2IM, they will start to feel the hurt that websites like SoundCloud are facing.