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YouTube Says That 95% of Labels Are Now on Board…

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Almost everyone is on board with the new YouTube Music, according to YouTube, and what’s worse, only a few organizations that don’t represent all indies are making the most noise.  Here what a YouTube spokesperson told Death & Taxes this morning.

“It’s business. You’ll never get everyone to agree.  These trade groups are misrepresenting their own members to make it sound like this [change in terms] impacts all indies.  They are trying to create the perception that [the new contracts] impact all indies, which is not correct.”

Furthermore, the labels that are in the 5% know who they are.  “If you are in that small subset of folks we are actively negotiating with YouTube about moving from the prior contract to the new one, if you’re in that 5%, you’d know you’re in that 5%.”

 handJune 23rd: “F*&K It: Here’s the Entire YouTube Contract for Indies

Additionally, the spokesperson also clarified the following points:

1. There is not a planned blacklisting, and any reference to a blacklist was likely taken out of context.

But, content can be blocked depending on the specific legal arrangements and contracts between YouTube and the label.

hand June 17th: “Everyone Calm Down. YouTube Is NOT Removing Music Videos

2. This doesn’t affect unsigned artists, or more specifically, artists that don’t have a business relationship with YouTube.

“Nothing different happens. You keep uploading your videos exactly as before.”

3. YouTube will not be profiting off of a video for which an agreement does not exist.

“By no means be profiting from a video where we don’t have a copyright agreement in place.”

4. YouTube Music will likely launch in a few months, but there is no set timetable.  And, all services will be additive to the existing YouTube, not replacements.

hand April 14, 2014: Exclusive: ‘YouTube Music’ Is Launching This Summer…

 

“It is very unfortunate how things have unfolded.  Above all else, YouTube respects the privacy of those who bring content to the platform.”

 

 

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Comments (48)
  1. Anonymous

    Um yes, and indies say that about 67% of labels are on board.

    The truth is probably somewhere in between.


    Reply
  2. Anonymous

    Let’s not forget the facts:

    You will never sell a song again if you sign a contract with the new ‘YouTube’! Google will make your entire catalogue available for free on release day — online AND off-line!

    From Google’s new contract:

    “Catalogue Commitment and Monetization. It is understood that as of the Effective Date and throughout the Term, Provider’s entire catalogue of Provider Sound Recordings and Provider Music Videos (including Provider Music Videos delivered via a third party) will be available for the Premium and Free Services for use in connection with each type of Relevant Content, (excluding AudioSwap Recordings, which will be at Provider’s option) and set to a default policy of Monetize for both the Premium and Free Services, except as otherwise set forth in this Agreement. Further, Provider will provide Google with the same Provider Sound Recordings and Provider Music Videos on the same day as it provides such content to any other similarly situated partners. The foregoing will be subject to reasonable quantity of limited-time exclusive promotional offers (in each case, with a single third party partner) (“Limited Exclusives”), as long as a) Provider provides Google with comparable exclusive promotional offers and b) the quantity and duration of such Limited Exclusives do not frustrate the intent of this Agreement.”

    But let’s see what the court has to say — Google is facing $5 billion fines now, so the next months are going to be very interesting.


    Reply
    1. Anonymous

      “But let’s see what the court has to say”

      …and for the YouTubes employees (you know who you are) who are not yet familiar with the case, it should be added that 4,000 music labels filed a complaint with the European Commission against you last week.

      Here is a summary of the complaint:

      “YouTube is insisting on extracting a package of rights that no other partner could get away with. The terms appear to seriously undervalue existing deals in the marketplace with other business partners. They also appear to include a highly controversial ‘least favoured nation’ clause, as well as provisions regarding delivery of content that restrict the freedom of labels and their artists to decide how to handle releases and marketing such as exclusives. This goes far beyond what would be agreed with any other service. The terms are also suspected to breach competition rules because they are not comparable to the terms that are believed to have been reached with the majors.”


      Reply
    2. Sebastian Wolff

      I’m uncertain whether encapsulating personal opinions and disseminating them as “facts” is beneficial for anyone who’s trying to cut through the noise of misinformation.

      Music is not something that is going to die. Purchasing and downloading music might– I certainly hope it doesn’t. YouTube, Spotify, Pandora et. all are following the trend of music consumption. If streaming is the future to mainstream music enjoyment, the trick is to find a commercially viable rate per spin, or view, or stream, or whatever. YouTube has been the go-to place for music listening for the last decade already; blanket sync and streaming contracts, in my mind, provide a more accessible way for creators, artists, and publishers to manage and claim their content, *and* be paid.

      Let’s not be defeatists — exciting things are happening. Let’s direct where things are going, and be at the forefront of the future.


      Reply
      1. Anonymous

        “YouTube has been the go-to place for music listening for the last decade already”

        YouTube was a piracy site until Content ID.

        Take Content ID away — which is what Google is going to do unless you sign the new controversial contract — and YouTube is a piracy site again.

        And it will immediately face the same problems that almost killed it during the Viacom case.


        Reply
        1. Anonymous

          You can even argue — and lawyers are probably going to — that Google is in a much more dangerous predicament now than during the Viacom case:

          Google’s defense against piracy accusations has always been that it is technically impossible to block infringing content from its search engine.

          But that line of defense doesn’t work for YouTube.

          On the contrary: We all know now that Content ID makes it very easy to remove or monetize illegal content very fast.

          This means that Google is going to abuse the DMCA, deliberately and systematically, if it doesn’t make Content ID available for certain piracy victims (e.g. artists who don’t want to sign the new contract).


          Reply
          1. Anonymous

            Latest news about Indiegate:

            “Europe’s antitrust chief said on Monday he could investigate Google’s YouTube if he saw any attempt by the company to abuse its dominant position in online video searching.

            The comments by European Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia came as he wraps up a separate case against Google, the world’s most popular search engine, which was triggered by complaints from Microsoft and others.

            “We are receiving more complaints, for instance the way Google leverages the search engine,” Almunia told a Chatham House conference.

            “YouTube for instance, it’s another kind of activity where Google can also leverage their market power in search engine, and maybe this will give way to another investigation,” he said.”

            SOURCE: Reuters


            Reply
  3. Me

    1. There is not a planned blacklisting, and any reference to a blacklist was likely taken out of context.

    So, Ari was right and Paul was wrong…


    Reply
    1. Anonymous

      What we have here are two anonymous sources who claim to work for YouTube.

      One of them told the Financial Times that artists will be blocked. The other allegedly said the opposite — to a blog called Death and taxes…


      Reply
      1. Paul Resnikoff

        At this point, I’m just putting YouTube’s statements out there. However contradictory those statements might be. But, keep in mind, this is not a static situation, as YouTube itself is likely shifting its strategy and responses in light of the massive indie backlash and attending media attention.


        Reply
        1. An Indie

          Paul, you’re hearing the same thing I am. The termination letters received by more than a handful of my colleagues definitely threatened labels who didn’t sign the subscription license with the blocking of their official, label delivered videos and a shut off of the monetization on UGC related to these labels’ content. Labels were counting down to the 60th day from the termination notice but I’ve heard from friends that YouTube seems to be blinking on this threat with some being told, “so long as we’re actively discussing coming to terms we won’t be moving on the termination notice”.


          Reply
          1. Anonymous

            Sad that Youtube had to lie about this.


            Reply
        2. Me

          Haha, I know… just teasing. At any rate, thanks for keeping us all updated on all ends of this crazy spectrum.


          Reply
    2. smg77

      Was this ever in doubt by any non crazy people?


      Reply
  4. Anonymous

    Paul, this is not entirely accurate (depending on what you mean by “unsigned artists”):

    “This doesn’t affect unsigned artists, or artists on labels with agreements.

    “Nothing different happens. You keep uploading your videos exactly as before.””

    Here’s what your source says:

    “When specifically asked what would be different for an artist who does not have a business relationship with YouTube when they go to upload a new song, their spokesmen simply said, “Nothing different happens. You keep uploading your videos exactly as before.””

    Which implies that you do have to accept Google’s new terms of service if you have a business relationship with YouTube.

    And you have such a relationship with YouTube if you’re monetizing your channel using AdSense, or if you have signed up for Content ID.

    In other words, it is not in any way relevant here whether or not you’re an “unsigned artist” in the traditional sense (e.g. you haven’t signed with a label).

    Bottom line:

    All YouTube artists must accept the following paragraphs from the new contract if they want to be paid by YouTube:

    Provider’s entire catalogue of Provider Sound Recordings and Provider Music Videos (including Provider Music Videos delivered via a third party) will be available for the Premium and Free Services.

    [...]

    Provider will provide Google with the same Provider Sound Recordings and Provider Music Videos on the same day as it provides such content to any other similarly situated partners


    Reply
    1. Paul Resnikoff

      OK, you’re right that needs clarification. Let me update.


      Reply
      1. Anonymous

        Thank you.


        Reply
  5. One of the 95%

    When YouTube says that they have 95% of labels signed up that’s probably accurate. Keep in mind that the overwhelming majority of independent labels have signed exclusive digital distribution agreements with companies such as ADA, Caroline, INgrooves, RED, The Orchard (all 5 are owned by the majors) or with some other digital distributor. In each case, the labels and their artists have been signed into this lousy contract with YouTube without the labels’ (or their artists’) ever having a choice. The 5% – labels and artists with direct YouTube deals or who use Merlin to negotiate their digital licenses – are standing up for all independents shining a light on how it has come to be that these digital services keep launching despite paying such paltry amounts to artists and labels. The services ARE paying but they’re paying the major label controlled distributors and the major labels themselves…the money is just not finding its way to the indie labels and their artists. The majors are seeking (and receiving) non-royalty bearing compensation (equity shares, guaranteed minimum payments, staggering deal fees) to induce them to sign these digital licenses and what they trade is discounted per stream royalties…which is what the distributed indies and all artists are sharing. It’s THE FIGHT of our time and artists and indies need to get wise to this and be loud about it. Think I’m wrong or exaggerating? Ask any friend that is running an indie label distributed by Warner. Warner is sharing some of these side compensation dollars with indie labels they distribute. Sony and Universal (and the distribution companies they control) are not.


    Reply
    1. Anonymous

      “In each case, the labels and their artists have been signed into this lousy contract with YouTube without the labels’ (or their artists’) ever having a choice”

      Great to hear from one of the 95% “happy YouTubers”!

      I seriously hope the best for you guys. Please let us know how everything turns out, communication is crucial right now.

      “It’s THE FIGHT of our time”

      Yes.


      Reply
    2. Anonymous

      Paul, wouldn’t it be interesting to hear more ‘eye witness reports’ from the “Happy 95%”?


      Reply
    3. There is+something...

      Am I the only to think that when you pretend to be “independent” but sign with major labels, you somehow deserve to be screwed someday ? Don’t sell you soul to the devil if you don’t want to play by his rules !


      Reply
      1. Anonymous

        “Am I the only to think”

        Yeah, I think so.


        Reply
        1. there issomething...

          But as you’re thinking a lot in the wrong way, it doesn’t matter…


          Reply
      2. Versus

        Those who sign deals with major labels are not the only ones being mistreated.
        Many indie labels and artists who have distribution deals with non-major distribution companies have simply been forced into the new contract terms, by the distributor who signs the deal on their behalf. That is just wrong. Consent of labels (and indie artists) should be required before a distributor can make such a move.


        Reply
    4. Dan

      “The 5% – labels and artists with direct YouTube deals or who use Merlin to negotiate their digital licenses – are standing up for all independents shining a light on how it has come to be that these digital services keep launching despite paying such paltry amounts to artists and labels.”

      Merlin is NOT standing up for the Indies – they’ve done their usual method of crying to the press when they can’t get a deal only this time it hasn’t worked. I think you’ll find lots of Merlin’s members have already signed direct deals and have left Merlin (yet again) dead in the water. Beggars and PIAS have signed the deal directly with YT completely undermining Merlin’s so called unified voice


      Reply
    5. Versus

      Indeed. I found out the distributor for one of the labels I work with simply signed the new GoogleTube contract for all the labels they distribute without even consulting said labels! Such blanket actions by distributors undercut the attempts by representing agencies to negotiate better terms, and allow GoogleTube to get away with such 95% claims.

      I am about to have serious words with this distributor about this, and even threaten to change distribution.


      Reply
  6. Sitting Around

    I’m holding out, waiting for CD sales to pick up again. It’s just a cyclical thing. Prince was right, the internet is over…was a long time ago!


    Reply
  7. TuneHunter

    YouTube and Google is almost like an advertising CULT.
    Bunch of very well educated and intelligent folks blinded by religion of advertising.

    Middle ages have kept human civilization in dungeons for over 1000 years, lets hope for some enlightenment inside of Google or outside force putting us back to sanity in next few years.

    We are witnessing forced conversion of $100B of music and $50B of Radio to $35B of ads and subs sometimes in 2025.


    Reply
    1. TuneHunter

      …it is pity, considering that YouTube could be a $50B dollar hub of $100B dollar music industry by 2020.

      Larry Page’s moonshots or disruptive business models are just empty statements when it comes to music.


      Reply
  8. There is something...

    What people need to understand is that USERS will always have the last say. You can argue what you want about how unfair is Youtube contract, as long as users keep to use Youtube as their “go to” source for music and videos, nothing will change. As long as there is no other alternative, Google will do what they want. But I feel that again, labels will keep crying without really trying to do something about it themselves. Just look at those who hopes that the EU will help them ! That’s pathetic.


    Reply
    1. Anonymous

      “What people need to understand is that USERS will always have the last say”

      What you need to understand is that content is everything.

      Which means that a service like YouTube will be dead tomorrow if content providers want it to be dead tomorrow.


      Reply
      1. there is+something...

        But content providers don’t do anything ! They let Youtube become that big and powerful because they never thought it would be good to support an alternative (in western countries, because Japan and China have alternatives and are not heavily Youtube dependent like we are). And now they are crying because Youtube actually use that power… it’s just dumb !

        Also, don’t forget that for the moment there is more supply than actual demand. And if really 95% of labels have already signed to Youtube new service, it means more content than anybody could ever watch. So even if 5% will never sign… I don’t think it will change a thing.


        Reply
      2. TuneHunter

        Content in most cases is a PRIVATE PROPERTY.

        Music is a victim of years of zero creativity or outright ignorance at labels, brilliant salesmanship by Daniel Ek
        (I think he could have sold to labels used toilet paper) and chutzpah on Google side.

        Domino has collapsed and we need to start new game!


        Reply
      3. Versus

        Exactly. And we (the content creators/owners) are not working in concert.

        Look how the Internet monopoly destroyed SOPA by an Internet black-out, shutting down services for a day.

        What kind of black-out can we create, to generate public awareness and support for the plight of content creators? We have to show that there is no value to an Internet without content, and that also requires valuation (financial and otherwise) of content. That point should be obvious, but apparently it is not.


        Reply
        1. Anonymous

          “What kind of black-out can we create”

          We can shut down all music on YouTube.

          It does not have to be permanent. And it’s very easy: Just change your YouTube video’s privacy setting to “Private”.

          (Go to Video Manager, find video, click Edit, select Private.)


          Reply
          1. Versus

            That’s a good idea. But it would need to be a concerted effort of a large number of artists & labels with significant influence. A few individuals will have no effect.

            Has there already been any initiative to this effect? Who could best orchestrate it?


            Reply
            1. Anonymous

              “Who could best orchestrate it?”

              Paul (hint, hint)! :)

              A headline like ARTISTS SHUT DOWN YOUTUBE will immediately pop up in all media across the world.

              Especially if the purpose is clear: To protect the free and open YouTube that 1 billion users love!


              Reply
        2. TuneHunter

          Absolutely, if Google MONK converts and grabs the $100B music opportunity by the horns we are good.

          If MONK will continue to promote digital Middle Ages we have to make very united effort: all labels, RIAA , book industry, Oprah and all connected to legislature stars might not be enough. Google has bottomless lobby wallet and is almost in the state of marriage with security obsessed uncle Sam.

          All we need is “new fair use doctrine” to lock the music in virtual walls. Half of piracy will be gone. All industrial nerds like Spotify, Shazam, Pandora will double revenue in 12 months. Well deserved IPOs will follow for many.


          Reply
  9. Musicservices4less

    The Snowdon Effect
    “It is very unfortunate how things have unfolded. Above all else, YouTube respects the privacy of those who bring content to the platform.”
    Who’s privacy is YouTube worried about?
    Doesn’t anybody what to give Paul and those who provided the YouTube contract for all to see a high five?


    Reply
    1. Anonymous

      Yes, DMN deserves huge amounts of credits for posting the contract.

      Billboard and others could have done it too, but didn’t.


      Reply
      1. TuneHunter

        Billboard is in total affection with Daniel Ek and his proven business model.
        No reason to cover relevant issues or other business models – just bunch of small talk.


        Reply
  10. Anonymous

    The plot thickens. Where is the truth? Looks like GoogleTube is constantly re-formulating their story in response to the scandal.

    Thank you to DMN for shining a light into the recesses of GoogleTube’s dark soul. Undoubtedly the exposure here is one factor driving the public shaming.

    Maybe public shame (and threats of massive legal action, such as that being undertaken by the EU) will inspire the creation of at least a nominal conscience for this amoral monopoly.

    GoogleTube is the Microsoft (or Ma Bell) of our time. Perhaps it is time to break up the monopoly into BabyTubes and BabyGoogles, which can be raised by responsible parents, and put into juvenile detention when they act sociopathic.


    Reply
    1. Anonymous

      “Perhaps it is time to break up the monopoly into BabyTubes and BabyGoogles, which can be raised by responsible parents”

      :)


      Reply
  11. Versus

    INTERNET BLACK-OUT

    Let’s consider this seriously. Can it be done? One artist or label pulling their content will simply be vain self-destruction. A vast number of content creators/owners pulling their content, on the other hand, has serious power.

    Ideas?


    Reply
    1. Anonymous

      “Can it be done?”

      Yes — and it’s very easy (you can do it in 2 minutes). It just needs a bit of organization.

      Perhaps Paul would run a story about the initiative?

      It doesn’t have to be permanent. Just run a story in DMN and ask all content owners to change their YouTube video’s privacy setting to “Private” on a specific day.

      How to do it
      1) Go to your Video Manager
      2) Find the video(s)
      3) Click Edit
      4) Select “Private”

      Later — after 24 hours, for instance — you repeat the procedure and select “Public”.


      Reply
    2. TuneHunter

      UMG, Sony and Warner control over 80% of music but they are in the final stage of drug addiction.

      They cannot say no to YT, Spoofy or Pandora – one billion they have got in 2013 from this trio is required to keep them intoxicated.


      Reply
  12. Willis

    That darn 5% holdout. Cmon, Ted Cohen!


    Reply

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