Changes in YouTube could mean trouble for Indie Music

google_youtubeGoogle is reportedly moving into the music streaming market. Due to this we may start to see some changes coming to YouTube. According to Forbes, everyone’s go to for streaming will drastically change the site and will add a subscription streaming service, to help compete with other music streaming sites like Pandora. This program is rumored to be called Music Pass, to allow customers to skip ads as well as download music.

But this is not all good news, reportedly in order to make sure that they have the content they need, Google is putting pressure on some labels. Already having signed deals with most major labels they are now setting their sights on the more independent record labels. Google stated that any label that does sign a deal with them for their streaming service would have all their content taken down from YouTube. Meaning these labels wouldn’t be on the streaming service but also have all the free content removed from the site. According to some reports artists like Jack White, Adele, and Vampire Weekend could disappear.

One favor YouTube is granting the Internet is that videos presented on the VEMO platform, will be exempt from this policy. Which is not all that surprising considering that VEVO is a joint venture between Google, and the big record companies such as Universal Music Group and Sony Music Entertainment.

If Google goes through with this change, it will hurt one of the greatest by products of YouTube. For many people YouTube is the go to place for new and up-and-coming artists and for smaller indie labels to get the music of talented people into the world. In some cases these “labels” can legitimately be one or two people working out of a studio apartment. These smaller labels do not have the capital or the means to compete with a major label but on YouTube it levels the playing filed. The viral nature of the medium can cause someone that no one has ever heard, to shoot to the top of popular culture. We need that to exist in the world, radio is already taken over by major labels repackaging the same thing and with this change, YouTube will end up the same way.