LONDON: Indie music labels bang YouTube streaming plans

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The independent music community on Thursday hit out at YouTube over proposals for a subscription music streaming service, which the Silicon Valley giant is expected to set up shortly.

The Worldwide Independent Network (WIN), the organization that presents the worldwide independent music community, released a statement slamming YouTube’s reported plans to stop the content of members who do not signal a new arrangement for the service as “unnecessary and indefensible”.

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Granting to the statement, YouTube, owned by Google, has already negotiated separate agreements with three major labels — Sony, Warner and Universal — but causes yet to make a deal for independent labels.

WIN members say that the contracts currently on offer to independent labels from YouTube are on “extremely unfavorable, and non-negotiable terms”.

“Our members are small businesses who rely on a mixture of income streams to invest in raw talent,” said Alison Wenham, CEO of WIN.

“They are being narrated by one of the biggest societies in the globe to accept conditions that are out of step with the marketplace for streaming. This is not a reasonable way to perform business.

“We believe… that these natural processes are unnecessary and indefensible, not to mention commercially questionable and potentially damaging to YouTube itself.”

The industry is contending with how to gain money from music distributed over the Internet, and views Swedish-based subscription streaming provider Spotify as a potential model to succeed.

YouTube is already the largest online source of free streaming music, but is accounted to be close to establishing its own paid service.

Creative people such as Radiohead have criticized such services over the fees that they get when their songs are streamed.

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