With the imminent launch of Google's new subscription music service, reports are coming in from many independent labels about phone calls and letters from Google warning that their content may be blocked unless
they sign onto Google's new service. What this means is unless
your label is part of Google's subscription service going forward, all your current videos will be removed and any future videos will blocked from streaming via Google.
That in itself would be bad enough. But the indies are also complaining they're being offered inferior terms compared to those offered to the last standing "old boys" like Universal, Warner, and Sony. Most of the indie labels contacted have characterized Google's behavior in this matter as arm-twisting and corporate bullying.
Most interesting of all, Google is making no
attempt whatsoever to downplay or mitigate any negative fallout. They've offered this statement:
"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."
The message seems to be: Hey kiddies! Don't get left out. All the other cool kids are doing it already! Sign up now - or you won't get to play in our sandbox.
Links to several articles on this can be found here
Just one step closer to officially sanctioned art.
Hey Larry Page? Didn't somebody resembling you once say "Do no evil"?