YouTube To Block Videos Of Artists Whose Record Labels Won’t Sign Licensing Agreement

youtubeWatching a 15-second ad might seem like a small price to pay in order to see your favorite music video right when you want to. But a number of artists who haven’t agreed to the licensing terms of YouTube’s upcoming ad-free subscription service won’t be showcasing their talents on the platform much longer.

YouTube announced that in a matter of days it will be begin blocking videos of independent record label artists who have refused to sign licensing terms for the platform’s new service, The Financial Times reports.

The move won’t be blocking just small, unknown artists either. Popular musicians such as Adele and the Arctic Monkeys will have thousands of videos in YouTube-land blocked if a deal is not reached.

The new service, which is expected to launch later this summer, would allow users to watch videos or listen to music without advertisements on any device – even when it’s not connected to the internet – for a fee.

Robert Kyncl, head of content and business operations for YouTube, says that nearly 90% of the music industry, including large record labels such as Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment and Warner Music, have signed the new service terms. YouTube has not revealed the specifics of the agreement.

While blocking artist videos from the platform, even as ad-supported content, seems unfair to consumers, Kyncl says YouTube’s goal is to make “features that fans love.”

But it might not be all doom and gloom for fans of Adele and other artists affected by the blocking. Vevo, which distributes official music videos for many independent record label artists, has an agreement with YouTube and will continue to provide content.

“To clarify, music videos from the indie labels and distributed by Vevo on YouTube will not be taken down,” a spokesperson from Vevo tells TechCrunch.

YouTube to block indie labels as it launches paid music service [Financial Times]

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