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25 Reasons Why YouTube Doesn’t Care About Indies…

These are the 25 most-watched music videos on YouTube in 2013.  Every single one of these artists is either signed directly to a major label, or signed to a label that is distributed through a major label.

Any questions?

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Comments (78)
  1. major

    indies? who cares. f*ck them!


    Reply
    1. le visitor'

      so where is all of this internet empowerment and leveling of the field for individual creators that mike masnick likes to ramble on about?


      Reply
  2. Vail, CO

    Simple economics. Indies are a bit self-inflated on this one.


    Reply
  3. no

    I thought we were talking about music.

    All these personas you have listed don’t produce music, they produce shows.

    If you can’t tell the difference, good luck.


    Reply
    1. Paul Resnikoff

      Because it should only be ‘about the music,’ right? I’d argue that successful artists are always about more than music, and oftentimes entertainers with music as the entry point. Kanye West is a perfect example of this, but shake a stick and you get Pitbull, Justin Timberlake, JLo, Katy Perry… list goes on.

      But, even music purists are largely fooling themselves if they think they are responding to just the music. Even in my snobbiest classical appreciation moments, I’m taking in the feeling that comes from a refined concert hall, the fun of hanging out in a ‘refined’ niche, etc.


      Reply
      1. Anonymous

        “Even in my snobbiest classical appreciation moments, I’m taking in the feeling that comes from a refined concert hall, the fun of hanging out in a ‘refined’ niche”

        Indeed, and there’s nothing wrong with that — we’ve always loved beauty. In the past, it was hard to come by for most people, but everybody can afford to watch mindblowing images when they listen to their favorite songs today.

        And there’s no way they will ever go back to audio-only.

        YouTube is the past — but videos are the future.


        Reply
        1. GGG

          Someone should tell the police this guy drives his car around while watching a screen. Very unsafe.


          Reply
          1. Anonymous

            “Very unsafe.”

            Depends on the car.


            Reply
            1. GGG

              So you own one of Google’s self-driving cars?


              Reply
              1. Anonymous

                I’d rather put a fire out with my face.

                Other companies are working on similar projects.


                Reply
                1. Sequenz_

                  This is one of the best comments I’ve ever read.


                  Reply
                2. Some guy

                  This is one of the worst comments I’ve ever read.


                  Reply
      2. Versus

        That is a choice of focus. It is possible to focus on the pure aesthetic and emotional response to the music, distilled from the various other factors mentioned. It’s a discipline/skill of selective attention, a kind of musical meditation.


        Reply
      3. Versus

        Musicians — at least those who perform to the public, as opposed to the “invisible” world of composers, studio musicians, and such — were always to some extent “multi-media” artists, in that the visual presentation is an undeniable factor in live performance, and now in video. Even the decision to not care about visual presentation is itself a visual presentation.

        Nevertheless, there is the critical question of proportion. Even with an army of publicists, assistants, branders, managers, the “artist” still only has 24 hours in the day. If so much attention is focused on videos, make-up lines, paid promotional (non-musical) appearances, clothing lines, artificially produced “scandals”, etc., how much time is left to develop one’s music artistry?

        This is a chicken-and-egg problem. Per the other article on “Why Your Band Isn’t Getting Press”, the audience supposedly doesn’t care about music, but only about the “story” (all too frequently the “gossip”, the “scandal”, or the “confessional revelation”). Yet is that what the public wants, or is that just what they are being fed and told they want? Maybe we underestimate the public.

        If that decline in musical interest is a characteristic of the public, though, what is to be done? Can it all be blamed on the decline of musical education in public schools? The rise of MTV (video killed the radio star)? Can it be reversed?


        Reply
        1. Paul Resnikoff

          So many giant variables and moving pieces, it’s really hard to assess, and even difficult to theorize. But we do know that very music and virtuoso-intensive genres like Jazz and Classical have suffered massive audience declines.

          My father passionately enjoys both. He is 73.


          Reply
          1. Versus

            Agreed that it is hard to assess. After all, our responses to musical harmonies, intervals, rhythms, melodies, and timbres are at least somewhat learned, although there seem to be some innate universals.

            Still, just being aware of the different factors (as your comments indicate you are) implies that one can hope to separate them, even if imperfectly. I find that simple moves, like closing my eyes at a classical concert, helps to focus just on the music. Or listening at home, away from all the social-status cues and reactions of others.


            Reply
        2. GGG

          Understanding of anything is crucial to people enjoying it. But so is cultural acceptance. Hundreds of years of the average person enjoying orchestral music, opera, jazz, big band, etc proves that “difficult” or “high-brow” art is not above people, in theory.

          I don’t care about cars because I have no idea how the inner workings work. I sucked at higher math, so I lost interest by the end of high school. I have a very limited understand of visual art (painting, sculpture, etc) so me going to a museum and my art history major or artist friends going to a museum are vastly different experiences.

          Right now, our larger culture seems to be focused largely on escapism and fun, and on top of that we’ve sort of mastered art as commerce, in music at least. So if people accept when powers that be throw at them, it will perpetuate until some massive shift happens. EDM was/is a disruptor for sure, but it was also sort of the next logical step from where pop music had been going the last decade.


          Reply
      4. poor man

        So you have never bought an ECM Records album. I feel sorry for you.


        Reply
  4. Anonymous

    You are right — but does it matter?

    I doubt that YouTube will survive when only 7% are willing to pay for it, according to Forbes.

    And that number may drop significantlywhen potential subscribers realize they actually get less for their money than they already get for free today (i.e. indies will indeed be blocked if they don’t sign, according to Financial Times today).

    There are many indications that a new YouTube alternative is more likely to succeed than a crippled pay version of the original service.


    Reply
    1. GGG

      YT doesn’t need subscriptions to make money. You realize how much you can charge people when you get a billion uniques a month? Also, even if every indie video was taken off tomorrow, it’s not like indie music fans wouldn’t watch youtube videos anymore. It will still be the go-to website for all you cat video needs.


      Reply
      1. Anonymous

        “YT doesn’t need subscriptions to make money”

        You’re almost right:

        The old YouTube did not need subscription to make money. But the new version does.

        Here’s why: Google needs to cripple the free YouTube considerably in order to make anybody pay for the subscription version.

        This means that the free version won’t attract users anymore. It’s just not YouTube.

        “if every indie video was taken off tomorrow, it’s not like indie music fans wouldn’t watch youtube videos anymore”

        Yes, it’s exactly like that: Most of us don’t use several video hosting sites. We use one site. YouTube. Because it has everything.

        If YouTube doesn’t have everything anymore, an alternative will appear.

        And then we’ll use that for all our music and cat video needs. :)


        Reply
        1. GGG

          Well, I guess I’ve yet to read that scathing article in Cat Fancy.


          Reply
  5. N.P.

    Hey Paul. I have a termination letter from the Google mafia. Guess what? They have embedded tracking code in the document, so that they can tell who leaked it, if it gets online. I had an IT person look at it and he told me to not even think about emailing it.

    So, I guess Google is very very scared of you…


    Reply
    1. Anonymous

      There are many ways to get around that:

      The most simple one is to strip all formatting and save it as .txt.

      A more brutal approach is to translate the document into another language and back, if you think the text exists in several individualized versions…


      Reply
    2. Faza TCM

      Why not simply print the document and send a paper copy? Or a scan, even? Print to PDF? Print-screen to clipboard? It shouldn’t be too difficult to subvert such a code with minimal effort.


      Reply
      1. Anonymous

        “Why not simply print the document and send a paper copy?”

        That may not be enough, as I suggested above.

        If I were N.P., I would rewrite the text and be careful not to change the meaning.


        Reply
      2. David

        Definitely not safe to send a photocopy. If Google are that paranoid they will have small differences of spacing, etc, in each copy. Old-school technology used by governments for decades.


        Reply
        1. pixie styx

          I’m sure they already know who leaked that contract


          Reply
        2. Paul Resnikoff

          Wow.

          I was warned that the indies are totally paranoid and fearful of Google/YouTube, and this further proves that. The fact that I never received a Termination Letter was ample evidence enough; I’ve seen YouTube go Tony Soprano on companies that shared details on splits and payouts in DMN guest posts.

          Sad.


          Reply
          1. Paul Resnikoff

            Oh, by the way, our fax is (310) 928-1498 (it automatically detects that a fax is coming through).

            Our email is: news@digitalmusicnews.com

            Confidentiality will be protected to the extreme! Stop being such timid kittens.


            Reply
          2. Anonymous

            “I was warned that the indies are totally paranoid”

            We’re just cautious. Because:

            “I’ve seen YouTube go Tony Soprano on companies that shared details on splits and payouts in DMN guest posts”


            Reply
  6. David

    If YouTube don’t care about indies, why are they going to such extraordinary lengths, with major legal threats to Google itself, to strong-arm them into submission?


    Reply
  7. hippydog

    Questions?

    ya..

    Now that the truth is out about youtube and Google..
    We need a service like Vevo but made for the indies.

    heck, also have it for indie movie/ short film makers

    come up with a new sales method (allow artists to set price, or maybe auction style?)
    and then change the world! (kidding)

    anyone wanna start a kickstarter with me?


    Reply
    1. Paul Resnikoff

      OK, now that actually sounds like a decent idea (and there have been a lot of ideas posted over the past two weeks). VEVO has a defined business model and concrete objectives; this can be translated by a separate group of (very similar) stakeholders, ie, indie labels.

      Go!


      Reply
      1. Anonymous

        Well, we certainly don’t need another VEVO. VEVO is just Google.

        We also don’t need a specific ‘Indietube’. Psy and dancing cats are essential if you wish to reach billions of users.

        We just need a free and open YouTube alternative. Take all the good things from the old YouTube and throw in some Netflix. There’s no need to limit the service to short films. The next YouTube is going to kill everything else, including movie streaming services.


        Reply
      2. Tom oswald

        Slightly less than 3 weeks and counting


        Reply
        1. Anonymous

          Is it free or subscription?


          Reply
  8. D'man

    I don’t know what this is suppose to prove. Majority of people in general search for the newest Katy Perry song rather than some small indie artist anyways. These are MEGA stars too.


    Reply
    1. Tom Oswald

      While yes, you are correct that the majority of people will search for Katy Perry, or Lady GaGa, there is still a significant number of people that are into the indie music scene. About 32% of Youtube’s platform currently consists of indie music which is a big market


      Reply
      1. D'Man

        I’m still not understanding the point. I don’t even understand how this is YouTube’s problem. If the indies want to have a “TOP” video they can…but by that point a major label will come in seeking a deal. Ever heard of Austin Mahone? Or Sage the Gemini? Or Jake Miller?


        Reply
  9. Versus

    That was the most boring, depressing, sad list of “music” “artists” imaginable, dominated by the same old vacuous Mafia of Boredom. Top 40 has perhaps always tended to the lowest-common denominator, but still I harbor the vain hope to see something inspired, artistic, elevating, even in the mainstream. That list is an artistic wasteland.

    Even if only judged as entertainment instead of art, the insipid dullness of the music is stunningly soporific. On radio, one can blame the monopolization of ownership and conservative formatting, but what is the excuse on video, where the viewer can watch anything at all, and has access to more music than ever before, and yet the vast majority watch the video to the same Psy “song”? Is this the paradox of choice in action?

    The homogenization of pop has often been criticized, and the critics dismissed as out-of-touch. A bit of scientific analysis:
    “Measuring the Evolution of Contemporary Western Popular Music” http://www.nature.com/srep/2012/120726/srep00521/full/srep00521.html

    Quote from that article’s abstract: “…we prove important changes or trends related to the restriction of pitch transitions, the homogenization of the timbral palette, and the growing loudness levels.”

    Thankfully there is creative and artistic music being composed, produced, performed, but rarely found on mainstream radio or these sorts of hit-lists.

    Of course, originality isn’t everything. Great works can be created while utilizing standardized tropes. Still, I would hope for more enlightened and enlightening content than “Blurred Lines” (which admittedly has a great Marvin Gaye-derived groove).


    Reply
  10. Versus

    From a financial perspective, YouTube need not care about most individual indies, but cares about indies as a whole. Indies may not have superstars of that stature, but in total, represent a serious market force.

    However, it seems that YouTube only “cares” about making money from artists, whether major, indie, or truly independent (on no label at all). I have yet to see any evidence that YouTube “cares” about art, culture, or the financial well-being of the artists themselves.


    Reply
    1. D'Man

      YouTube is NOT making money off the artists. They are making money off advertising sales. Every single video you see that has advertisement is already monetized.
      Majority of these videos on this list is on a VEVO Channel. That means major labels had cut a deal with VEVO to help them manage their artist’s music videos/behind the scenes page for them. I would think that YouTube pays VEVO, and then VEVO pays to the labels, and the labels pay out to whoever that video and song belong to. It’s a music video, so I don’t know who is suppose to get paid.
      Now, a lot of labels are managing their video content by themselves. If anything, we should feel bad for VEVO when their contracts with labels are up.


      Reply
      1. Anonymous

        “YouTube is NOT making money off the artists”

        Then I’m sure it’ll do just fine without us.


        Reply
  11. prove that you care first

    Hey Paul,

    if you want the indies to trust you and give you documents, you have to prove that you have done your part to protect the individuals.

    That includes moving away from Google Analytics for digitalmusicnews.com and using some open source analytics solution instead.

    Right now Google knows who visits DMN and has access to all the data.

    They can compare to Gmail data e.t.c.

    Same with indie bands and labels:

    If you are sincere and you don’t like how Google treats you, stop using the company’s products. There are so many alternatives out there. Don’t be lazy.


    Reply
    1. Paul Resnikoff

      Ok, point taken. Though. Google doesn’t own our fax machine (I don’t think… Ha ha). Though maybe the NSA does (not laughing anymore).


      Reply
      1. FarePlay

        And just where do you think the NSA sources most of its’ information, Paul.


        Reply
      2. Anonymous

        “Google doesn’t own our fax machine (I don’t think… Ha ha)”

        The Guardian has an interesting story today:

        Google, as far as regulators are concerned, is the new Microsoft. It is the big bad wolf. Privacy has become a much more important issue.

        “Media markets historically have been national, but Google straddles borders and stands head and shoulders above any other online players. The European regulators have more power than any bar those in the US, and Google is now such a giant that it is going to face increased regulatory scrutiny. Regulation, rather than competition, is probably its main challenge right now.”

        Google has a friendly face, but its creeping power is causing alarm. The company controls two of the world’s biggest search engines: Google itself and its video site YouTube, which ranks alongside Microsoft’s Bing! and China’s Baidu. The company’s own web browser, Chrome, has overtaken Firefox and Microsoft’s Explorer as the most popular browser, its Gmail is the largest email service, and its Android software controls more mobile phones than any other operating system.

        Now Google is moving into the home, buying cloud-connected thermostat maker Nest and home security camera operator Dropcam. It wants to drive our smart cars and build humanoid robots, and it is funding a network of satellites to beam internet connections from space.

        In an extraordinary metaphor, the boss of German media group Axel Springer has compared Google to the dragon Fáfnir, from the Norse myth that inspired Tolkien to write The Hobbit and Wagner to compose the Ring Cycle. Fáfnir was the son of a dwarf king, who became so jealous of the family’s vast store of gold and gems that he killed his father to take sole possession of the treasure. Greed turned Fáfnir into a dragon, who guarded his hoard with fire and poison.

        “Google is sitting on the entire current data trove of humanity like the giant Fáfner in The Ring of the Nibelung,” Axel Springer boss Mathias Döpfner wrote in an open letter to the firm’s chairman, Eric Schmidt, in April. More recently, he has condemned Almunia’s settlement with Google over search. Google is under fire for allegedly downgrading results from companies that offer similar services to its own, prioritising its price comparison sites, stock price information or maps even when those services receive less traffic than rivals. Almunia has agreed that companies appearing too low in the rankings to draw traffic can pay to appear in a box at the top of the page. Döpfner told Radio 4′s Today programme last week: “I would call that protection money. It is basically the business principle of the mafia.”

        Google’s earnings from search have drained advertising spending from European newspapers, magazines and radio stations. Piracy, facilitated by search engines and broadband, has hit revenues for record labels hard.”


        Reply
  12. hippydog

    Quote “Well, we certainly don’t need another VEVO. VEVO is just Google ”
    it is, and it isnt.. its using the platform, but the template is whats needed for artists, BIO’s, album information, concert listings, etc etc.. I said “a service like Vevo”, its a good template.. I was also thinking ‘a bandcamp with videos’ .. so a cross (or mashup LOL) of bandcamp, vevo, and netflix..
    Quote “We also don’t need a specific ‘Indietube’. Psy and dancing cats are essential if you wish to reach billions of users. ”

    PSY? yes, Dancing cats? no..

    This is where I STRONGLY disagree..
    Its marketing 101..

    IE: it is completely insane to try and go head-to-head with the Walmarts of the world.. (unless you have the money to compete)
    Whereas the niche companies CAN compete..
    it doesnt mean it can’t grow, but any startup needs a specific starting point..
    The examples are numerous..

    again..
    “The next youtube” , already out there.. positions’ been filled

    a “vevo/bandcamp/netflix” ? An open spot is available. someone just needs to take it..


    Reply
    1. Anonymous

      “it [VEVO] is [Google], and it isnt”

      Google is one of the owners.

      “I said “a service like Vevo””

      I’m aware of that — and I agree that we need a YouTube replacement asap — but here’s why VEVO would be a horrible template:

      1) VEVO is owned by Google and the majors.
      2) VEVO is music only.
      3) VEVO isn’t worldwide.
      4) VEVO is plagued by censorship to the point where it’s useless for music and would be a joke for movies. Which is why I would prefer a European YouTube alternative. The world doesn’t need more iTunes/YouTube/VEVO/Facebook censorship.


      Reply
      1. hippydog

        Quote “but here’s why VEVO would be a horrible template:
        1) VEVO is owned by Google and the majors.
        2) VEVO is music only.
        3) VEVO isn’t worldwide.
        4) VEVO is plagued by censorship to the point where it’s useless for music and would be a joke for movies. Which is why I would prefer a European YouTube alternative. The world doesn’t need more iTunes/YouTube/VEVO/Facebook censorship.”

        so 1.) again I said template.. Who owns it doesnt change the fact its a very workable site.. The fact that we are talking about a new site made for indies, inherently makes it different with just THAT change.. IE: having Vevo being owned by google and the majors makes it a bad site for indies BUT it doesnt make it a bad template.. (and when I say template, i mean the look, feel and basic structure, not a carbon copy)..
        matter of fact, any video site aimed at music is going to have basically the same look.. (because of the need for “albums”, bios [artists information], Genres, etc etc)

        2.) music only..
        As I mentioned in my other post..
        Thats a good thing.. For so MANY reasons, I could list them but it would take hours.. :-)
        .
        As I mentioned, I also believe an indie directed service would also benefit from allowing indie film makers being involved.. as the two correspond/harmonize with each other.
        .
        but another service for cat and baby videos? dont need any more..

        3.) Quote “Vevo is available in the United States, Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Spain and United Kingdom.”
        .
        I can think of a few that should be added.. Vevo isnt worldwide most likely because of the copyright laws..
        An indie service would NOT have that issue..

        4.) censorship
        you have me on that one..??
        For me its the exact opposite, most streaming services dont have the “radio edit” versions and I sometimes wish they did..
        unless you can give me a specific example, (as far as I know), as long as its not outright porn its pretty much allowed..


        Reply
    1. hippydog

      I would say ‘not that huge’..

      Probably the greatest strength of the streaming services is they are not reliant on any one codec or ‘format’..

      When the codec becomes “hacked” they can switch it out with another one, with-out a major interruption for the end user.. (yes the user might have to ‘update’ an app, but thats not a big deal anymore)


      Reply
  13. Will Moffett

    The reason why they are the most watched is because 90% of there views are fake. For Example 99% of PSY Gentlemen rap are fake he bought them and cheated his way to fame.


    Reply
    1. welcome to the club

      …and now you are on a list somewhere in an NSA database, because you said something true and bad about Google…


      Reply
  14. AnotherView

    The alternative to Youtube already exists, it’s called Vimeo.


    Reply
    1. Anonymous

      I think a new alternative is a better idea.


      Reply
  15. D'Man

    I still have no idea what the argument is. Can someone please explain what I’m suppose to care about? It’s not YouTube’s fault that these videos are popular. Plus, there are TONS of indie bands where their videos are already monetized. YouTube just cares about monetizing.


    Reply
    1. Versus

      The issue is that YouTube is apparently offering a better deal to majors than to indies. So indies are being treated as second-class citizens.


      Reply
      1. Anonymous

        Well, that’s just part of it — here are a few more problems:

        1) Your music won’t be monetized unless you sign with Google.

        2) Unauthorized user generated content won’t be monetized or taken down anymore, unless you sign with Google. This means that Google is going to abuse the DMCA, deliberately and systematically, by making Content ID unavailable for certain piracy victims (e.g. artists who don’t want to sign the new contract). Whether that’s piracy or exhaustion will be decided in court.

        3) Google forces you to make your entire catalog available for free on release day — for streaming AND download!

        This means you’ll never sell a song again if you sign a contract with the new YouTube! And selling songs is the only way to make a living from music today, unless you’re touring or teaching.

        Exactly how these controversial and probably illegal (at least in the EU) terms of service differ from those offered to the majors is a secret.


        Reply
  16. Anonymous

    Do you know what indie music is called when people actually give a shit about it? “Music”.


    Reply
    1. GGG

      You do realize indie music is just music on an indie label right? Adele is indie, so is Mumford and Sons. They’ve sold more records than anyone in like the last 10 years.


      Reply
  17. D'Man

    Still not understanding how this specific chart is to explain that YouTube doesn’t care about indies. Please add more information to this “article” than a top 25 chart of videos.
    For the record, you can’t blame YouTube for giving a better deal to their best producers of revenue. I don’t understand why some people are mad about that. Major labels are more important than indies in YouTube world. Check the numbers. They have the leverage to make a better deal. Whatever the majors want, the majors get IMO. YouTube has to make crappy deals with everyone else to make up for their losses out of the major label cut.
    The big factor that people are not really going in deep with is the partnership with VEVO and the Major labels and how that factors into the “new YouTube”. My guess is that the major labels are waiting until their contracts run out with them and have people in-house manage their channels. YouTube doesn’t need VEVO. Major labels are starting not need them either. VEVO is the one that will probably get screwed at the end…that’s just my opinion.


    Reply
  18. garbage

    How about Google fixes Google Search and leave music production to those who have devoted their lives to it?

    You know, I am talking about that Google Search thing that ALWAYS puts Wikipedia and Facebook on top of any search result, regardless of relevance?

    Why don’t you take a moment to think about why is Google giving Facebook so much space, although they are rivals.


    Reply
  19. mafia is mafia

    When Larry Page dies, I will make a party. Same like when Margaret Thatcher died.


    Reply
  20. just another idiot online

    jesus there are some paranoid people around here LOL.


    Reply
  21. jw

    To all would-be YouTube competitors,

    You can’t compete with YouTube. Don’t waste your time/money/energy.

    A YouTube clone that pays out better isn’t a compelling option to the consumer, they don’t give a shit & they shouldn’t give it a shit. Videos posted to a new service will fail to get any traction. They’ll just get lost in the ether.

    Rule #1 of the internet: The WWW is not a Field of Dreams. Just because you build it doesn’t mean anyone is going to come. In fact, unless a miracle happens, no one is going to come.

    If you’re going to start a dot com, begin with a CONSUMER-FOCUSED need. Offer a compelling solution. Cloning YouTube doesn’t cut it. As if Google could even BE cloned… the engineers behind YouTube are absolutely brilliant & are payed accordingly, I’m sure. This whole idea is a fool’s errand.


    Reply
    1. Anonymous

      “To all would-be YouTube competitors, You can’t compete with YouTube”

      To all would-be MySpace competitors — you can’t compete with MySpace.
      To all would-be Netscape competitors — you can’t compete with Netscape.
      To all would-be Alta Vista competitors — you can’t compete with Alta Vista.

      The engineers behind MySpace, Netscape and Alta Vista are absolutely brilliant! This whole idea is a fool’s errand.


      Reply
      1. jw

        Facebook 1) wasn’t coded like shit, 2) didn’t allow annoying customization, 3) focused on real life identities, & 4) didn’t bet the house on music. All of these are consumer-focused advantages.

        Internet Explorer shipped with Windows, so it killed Netscape to the tune of an antitrust violation. The convenience of Internet Explorer is a consumer-focused advantage.

        AltaVista bloated itself, & Google’s simplified, streamlined search process & better, cleaner results won out. Targeted paid-for results didn’t hurt, either. These are all consumer-focused advantages.

        If you want to make a BETTER YouTube with built-in consumer-focused advantages, go ahead. If you can think of something that YouTube isn’t doing or is doing wrong, & you can fill that need or top YouTube or fix a YouTube problem, then go for it. But if you’re just trying to replicate their functionality in order to control the flow of ad revenue, you’ve got no chance whatsoever. But YouTube isn’t making the mistakes that MySpace (bullshit code, eggs in one basket, giving up too much visual control to users), Netscape (aligning with the doomed AOL in an attempt to beat Microsoft at it’s own game), or Alta Vista (feature creep) vulnerable during earlier days of the web.

        But this isn’t 2004 (FB launch), 1995 (IE launch), or 1998 (Google launch). It’s 2014. The web has matured. Websites & web products are COMPLETELY different beasts than they were pre-2005, and the digital monoliths of today plainly & simply aren’t vulnerable like the ones you mentioned.

        I maintain that launching an indie-focused YouTube is a fool’s errand. Don’t waste your time or money or energy.


        Reply
        1. hippydog

          Quote “If you want to make a BETTER YouTube with built-in consumer-focused advantages, go ahead. If you can think of something that YouTube isn’t doing or is doing wrong,[snip] But if you’re just trying to replicate their functionality in order to control the flow of ad revenue, you’ve got no chance whatsoever. [snip], and the digital monoliths of today plainly & simply aren’t vulnerable like the ones you mentioned.
          I maintain that launching an indie-focused YouTube is a fool’s errand. Don’t waste your time or money or energy. ”

          I agree. (somewhat) .. Trying to make a “youtube replacement” would be a waste..
          but an indie specific Vevo/bandcamp like service?
          As far as I know, its not really out there..

          As time goes on, I believe more and more, that ANY service has a chance if they have the right mix of curation and usability.

          of course, I’m still waiting for the “long tail” to become more relevant, as there is a huge surplus of great music just waiting to be discovered.. The public is asking for it, the artists want the public to notice, but for some reason there is still a “disconnect” between the two..


          Reply
          1. jw

            When you say “indie specific” I hear “less content.” How is that a consumer-focused advantage? Is there anyone who actually wants that, outside of something that’s heavily, heavily curated like pitchfork.tv? Because… say what you will about the music that the major labels are putting out, a lot of stuff is indie because it sounds like shit. This venture could easily devolve into an Island of Misfit Toys scenario.


            Reply
            1. hippydog

              Think Walmart or Mcdonalds VS a niche or Mom & Pop store..
              The niche store has “less content” then the walmart but can be just as successful in its own way..

              as to “a consumer-focused advantage”, are you saying that “having every product in the world available” is the only successful business model? The thing about a niche business is they naturally lend themselves to being consumer focused..

              Quote “Is there anyone who actually wants that, outside of something that’s heavily, heavily curated like pitchfork.tv?”
              Yes! If anything i think its a growing market.

              Quote ” This venture could easily devolve into an Island of Misfit Toys scenario”
              woah.. no “venture” here.. what Tom is doing is a ‘venture’ and has nothing to do with my comments.. (and is a completely different idea) I have no plans to start anything (been there, done that, got the T-shirt)

              I just like talking about it because I firmly believe there is a need for something like it, more so then ever..


              Reply
              1. jw

                >> Quote “Is there anyone who actually wants that, outside of
                >> something that’s heavily, heavily curated like pitchfork.tv?”
                >> Yes! If anything i think its a growing market.

                Start-ups bite the dust every day. How is this a growing market? Where are examples or evidence of this?

                The internet is about aggregation. You can’t compare it to brick & mortar. You aren’t exposed to the entirety of a site’s content. It’s just about, when you search for something, whether or not you’re going to get any results. Each video that gets added to YouTube isn’t an inconvenience, it doesn’t dilute anything. So why would a niche video site be better? Would a niche Spotify be better? Would a niche iTunes be better? No, of course not. Plenty of sites have proven that.


                Reply
        2. Anonymous

          “launching an indie-focused YouTube is a fool’s errand”

          Completely agree — the world wants a full-blown YouTube replacement, cat videos and all.

          You see, Google is forced to cripple its free video service now in order to make us pay for its limited subscriber version.

          Only problem is that nobody wants that.

          They just want what they have: A service where they can watch, mash up and upload whatever they want without getting in trouble.

          And they want it for free.

          Now, they have such a service today, but Google is destroying it as we speak.

          And I can assure you that people will want a replacement when they realize the original is gone.

          That leaves us with a gargantuan power vacuum waiting to happen. And somebody’s going to fill it.


          Reply
  22. Veteran - US MUSIC INDUSTRY 1970-today

    I’m willing to bet the average age in this room is about 44. The videos listed are what your kids are watching. In particular what your tween and teen girls are watching. It is not representative of what you as a musician, or your fans are watching. Further, this place smells of testosterone. YouTube smells of estrogen.

    Want to reap a larger fanbase? …appeal to women … or to the woman in the man.

    As best as I can detail, approx 45-48%% of YouTube music videos are consumed by the 13-19 yr old age group. That figure for drops to about 35% for adults over the age of 35.

    The problem that a lot of non professionals experience is not knowing who their core target audience is, and then complaining about what their wives and daughters are listening to, as if it represents what the universe is listening to.

    Demographics are critical to understanding media usage and marketability.


    Reply
  23. Mike McCready - CEO Music Xray

    Should’t this post be titled, “25 Reasons you need big label backing to rise above the din.” ?


    Reply
  24. Veteran - US MUSIC INDUSTRY 1970-today

    Follow up … According to Quantcast in 2012

    YouTube’s audience is:
    46% under 18 years of age
    63% Caucasian


    Reply
  25. Tom Oswald

    Videscape.com is now in beta


    Reply

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