back to article YouTube will nuke indie music videos in DAYS, says Google exec

Google will nuke its bridges with independent record labels and pull their music videos from YouTube, the advertising giant has told its favourite newspaper – the Financial Times. The dispute is over royalty terms for Google's forthcoming and as-yet unannounced music-streaming service, believed to be a Spotify clone. Two …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    There's a lot that I don't understand and this is fitting in quite nicely with my norm, so let me get this straight;

    People (including record label types) have been putting music videos on YouTube. Google wants to remove the music videos that belong to the independent record labels because they (the labels) aren't willing to sign an agreement with Google which gives Google the right to charge users for the music while giving to the independent labels less than they are giving to the major record labels. And they are doing this now that they have become the dominant player in the streaming video market which means they are effectively shafting the independents sideways.

    If that's what it's all about, what happened to not being evil and all that?

    1. wolfetone Silver badge

      "If that's what it's all about, what happened to not being evil and all that?"

      Google have no reason to live by the "don't be evil" moniker ever since they beat Microsoft in the search engine market, browser market, mobile phone market, online word processing market, etc etc. It was used at the time to make them look better than Microsoft. Google now can pretty much do whatever they like now, because you know as well as I do the great unwashed never "search for things on the internet" they "Google it" instead.

      Screw Google. Screw them right between the o's.

      1. Michael H.F. Wilkinson

        Sounds like

        "That's a nice independent label you've got there, it would be such a shame if something happened to it"

        Monopolies are OK according to the law in most places provided you do not abuse that position. I would say the indie labels have a case

      2. RyokuMas

        ... and yet...

        ... you still have people on here - people who I can only assume are reasonably tech savvy - running round praising Google to the hilt and taking a swipe at Microsoft at every possible opportunity, just due to a massive two-decade-old chip on their shoulder...

        If the tech community of all people can't put the past behind them and see what the future holds, what hope does the great unwashed have?

        1. John Lilburne

          Re: ... and yet...

          Too true.If I say anything critical of Google on this site it gets a bunch of thumb downs. Personally I've not clicked a YT video link in the last 18 months. I've posted anything to YT in about 5 years. When I wanted to upload a video of a band I record live recently I hosted the damn thing myself.


          They have been inserting little memes in everybody's mind. So Google's shills can shriek there whenever they're inclined

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: ... and yet...

            You have a signature that basically calls anyone that disagrees with your crap a Google shill, and still complain you get downvoted?

            I even thought that calling other commentards shills was against register policy, but apparently all is allowed if it is to take a swipe at google.

            1. RyokuMas

              Re: ... and yet...

              I even thought that calling other commentards shills was against register policy, but apparently all is allowed if it is to take a swipe at googleMicrosoft.


              But it's true - Google do not have shills. Shills get paid. Google just have people they've brainwashed.

  2. CADmonkey
    Big Brother

    You there! Stop listening to interesting music!

    It's distracting you from all the mind-numbing dross, backed by proper money.

  3. That Awful Puppy

    Oh good, so it's gonna be just <pop tartlet du jour> and <ageing rock "icon"> from now on.

    1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

      Don't forget..

      "Oh good, so it's gonna be just <pop tartlet du jour> and <ageing rock "icon"> from now on."

      And endless Mars and Twix ads.. It's the Interwebz. Your stuff is free so we'll make money from it!

    2. Suricou Raven

      Don't forget 'teenage male singing generic love song about unnamed girl.'

      1. Amorous Cowherder

        Don't forget 'teenage male singing generic love song about unnamed girl.'...steady now, let's see...

        Don't forget 'foetus posing as teenager singing generic love song, written for them by balding 30 year industry song writing veteran with 400 other song credits and royalty cheques that would make you weep, singing about other unnamed teenager younger than them of course as they won't sing about real life where people of all ages fall for each other'

  4. Whiskers

    An opportunity for the competition

    YouTube are not the only service in this field, even if they might think they are. <>. This could get interesting.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: An opportunity for the competition

      Nice thought.... but most of them are already dead. Since this article was posted, one more (Pixorial) announced it's shutting down. Vimeo, Metacafe, Dailymotion, and Clowdy are about the only ones left in the running, and that's quite a stretch.

      If all you care about is the music, sites like BandCamp and SoundCloud and Jamendo are competitive with Youtube.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: An opportunity for the competition

        There is usually much more interesting stuff on Vimeo though to be fair to them. Just a shame their search facility sucks and Google doesn't appear to index them.

  5. Keith 21

    Don't Be Evil

    Remember the days when the googlistas and googlefans were falling over themselves to worship google because of that mantra?

    Funny how they are so quiet these days now that google is showing it is perfectly happy to fully embrace evil (as it has always done) when it can make a few billion bucks.

    1. M Gale

      Re: Don't Be Evil

      Remember the days when the googlistas and googlefans were falling over themselves to worship google because of that mantra?

      And on which planet did this occur? It certainly wasn't Earth.

      Though I do remember Google getting much praise over a no-nonsense search engine that works.

      1. VinceH

        Re: Don't Be Evil

        "Though I do remember Google getting much praise over a no-nonsense search engine that works."

        Worked. It has been 'improved' to the point that it's no longer as good as it once was.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Don't Be Evil

      Or how Android was somehow better because it was "open". Quite frankly I have yet to meet someone who has side-loaded anything on their phone, but then I hardly leave my mother's basement...

      1. Intractable Potsherd

        Re: Don't Be Evil @ Buck

        Well, we haven't technically "met", but I sideload regularly. Admittedly, it is only AdBlock Plus which isn't allowed on the Play store (, but at the open nature of Android means I can get around Google's edict.

      2. Mephistro

        Re: Don't Be Evil

        " I have yet to meet someone who has side-loaded anything on their phone"

        You should get out more and meet more people! ;-)

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Embrace <independent music>, Extend <access to wider audience>, Extinguish <cos you won't pay us protection money>.....

  7. Stretch

    "The big labels offer independents a much lower royalty rate, among other things."

    Is that exactly what you meant? Did you not mean that Google was offering a lower rate to independents than majors?

  8. Dan 55 Silver badge

    Youtube is only worth the content it hosts

    I wonder if the indies can make more for suing Youtube for hosting their content without an agreement than they can if they enter into an agreement with Youtube?

    Meanwhile they upload their videos onto a rival video service and work out an agreement with Spotify (or rival service) over streaming. If they build it people will come.

  9. Rick Giles
    Black Helicopters

    I hate...

    The internet for what it is becoming. Once again, the money grubbing corporates have figured out a way to stiffle innovation.

    The time is now for a wireless mesh internet that no one person or group can control.

    1. Geoff Campbell

      Re: I hate...


      They may *think* they have done so, but the really, really nice thing about the Internet is that it is supremely good at bypassing the middle-man. Sure, the sheep will continue to use YouTube without questioning any changes to the content, but the rest of us can do what we like, discovering excellent new music direct from the bands, and from our friends and family by personal recommendation.


    2. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Re: [time for ] a wireless mesh internet that no one person or group can control.

      Don't worry, as soon as that mesh is in place, someone will be wanting to control it. And they will find a way.

      No, the answer never is in doing away with the existing to create something new that will fail in the same way.

      The answer always is in fighting the rot and making sure the rot does not take over. In this case, the indie labels should band together and create their own service. Yes, it is complicated, yes it will cost them, but they're shafted anyway so might pay for the right thing.

    3. JDX Gold badge

      Re: I hate...

      YouTube isn't the internet, it's a private website backed by a mind-blowingly large and expensive infrastructure.

      So while it's inconvenient we can't use one site for all music videos, Google are under no compulsion to host any videos they don't want to host.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This is good...

    Because I really want to listen to more shite from the likes of Psy & Snoop!

  11. Brian Miller

    Big = evil?

    Although Google's informal motto is, "Don't be evil," it seems that as companies grow large, they grow corrupt. The latest has been Amazon's attempt to squash publishing houses, and Google is squashing independent music labels.

    What this really means is that publishers need to ditch Amazon, and all artists need to ditch YouTube. When whatever alternates they land on get too big and become evil, then those get ditched and the artists move someplace else.

    And this also means that all of the "users," i.e., self-created data content that is mined and sold by Google, needs to move along with the artists. If you want Google to be poor, stop using Google and block Google's JavaScript and cookies in your browser. But of course Google will continue on unimpeded.

    1. Synonymous Howard

      Re: Big = evil?

      Don't be (caught being) evil.

    2. graeme leggett

      Re: Big = evil?

      "Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely"?

    3. RyokuMas

      Re: Big = evil?


      ... or you will be accused of complaining to your friends by one of the Google faithful - under an anonymous coward post, natch...

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This is the 21st century

    Why can't someone else just create a video sharing site? Okay it'll maybe not ever be as big as Youtube, but something like lots of indies clubbing together should be able to get a few servers worldwide. Or, using Bittorrent, they might not even need that many servers except as a seed.

  13. lotus49


    Don't be evil - bollocks.

    I used to like Google.

    1. JDX Gold badge

      Re: Scumbags

      What you mean when they gave you every service you could want for free? Interesting how when they're killing off the competition to give you something you want for free, they're "good" but the moment what they offer you isn't what you want, or you have to pay, they're "evil".

      But you, wanting to listen to all those music videos without paying anyone, are "good".

  14. keithpeter Silver badge


    What about all the classical music, often historical performances, that individual people have been uploading? Is that going to start disappearing as well?

    A couple of favourites...

  15. AlexS

    YouTube... The new MySpace.


    1. Jedit Silver badge

      "YouTube... The new MySpace."

      If YouTube MySpace, weirdo, you're going to regret the day you were born.

  16. SVV

    Whilst a big fan of independent music.....

    ....... after all I prefer a bit of imagination and originality in my listening, this seems to have been coming for quite some time. So, the indie labels need to work together (they already have their own trade association, see and set up their own service : IndieTube or something. Then YouTube can get the reputation as a home for nothing more interesting than cat videos and major label pap and it'll become a lot less cool than it was and may have just aimed a (very tiny) bullet into its' own foot.

    1. Intractable Potsherd

      Re: Whilst a big fan of independent music.....

      But, based on previous form, unless your IndieTube is set up exactly right from the outset, it will get successful enough for Google or similar to notice it, buy it (because the owners get currency signs before their eyes and agree to sell), then kill it. Rinse and repeat.

  17. Mitoo Bobsworth


    Just wrong.

    I can see this badly backfiring.

  18. Josh 14

    Costs of hosting?

    I'm not sure of the whole story here, but isn't part of this about covering the costs of hosting all this mindless drivel that the consumers are watching?

    Google now owns YouTube, and paid unholy amounts of money to do so. They also pay for server upkeep, server overhead, bandwidth, etc... Now the various music labels are getting effectively free hosting of their promo footage in the form of music videos that only a few years ago you would have had to pay to see on M-TV or the like, on top of paying for cable TV, possibly a premium cable package to boot.

    Please explain why it's wrong to expect that those who are making money off of the screen time shouldn't be expected to possibly share a bit of the load, or at least a bit of the profits coming from the effectively 'free' hosting?

    I know that most of the lol-cat crowd are not paying anything or gaining any revenue, though some do through their advertising links, but the businesses whose entire revenue model is centered on internet video just might need to keep in mind that bandwidth intensive video streaming does cost someone, and that they might just end up getting stuck with part of the expense.

    All in all, just my looking at this as the Devil's Advocate...

  19. heyrick Silver badge

    Um... Guys?

    Your value is not the adverts that you show. I can understand why you make this mistake, because you get paid for advertising and stuff. But we are not you. The value of your service, to us, is not advertising, it is the content. Like commercial TV, advertising is something we will put up with in order to get to the content.

    And now, you are looking like you are wanting to kick off some content because the creators want to be paid a little more than you have decided they're worth.

    Smart move.

    Real smart.

    Now...what was my Vimeo password again?

  20. skeptical i
    Thumb Down

    edits required

    "While we wish that we had 100 per cent success rate, we understand that is not likely an achievable goal and therefore it is our responsibility to our users and the industry shareholders to launch the enhanced music experience in time for filing quarterly financials."

    Fixed now.

  21. Steven Roper


    Dailymotion. Vimeo. Flickr. Metacafe. Veoh. Imeem.

    This is your big chance, fellas. Even good old MySpace has an opportunity for a renaissance here.

    YouTube will become socially declassé if it starts carrying on like this. In an age where everyone is trying to be individual and different, flocking like sheep to YouTube will soon become seen as simply following the flock, if you see my meaning. Especially once word spreads about how only mainstream corporate trash is allowed on there.

    Yes, we may well be Google's "products". However, unlike traditional boxed products, these "products" can jump off the shelves and walk away. Take note, you greedy bastards.

    1. T_o_u_f_ma_n

      Re: Fine

      I think you overestimate the sensibilities of the average Internet user. Unless the other video websites you mention get a significant edge on Youtube feature wise, I cannot see a massive transfer of users happening.

      There are ample amounts of people who put up with corporate trash on TV, radio and yes on the Internet too. It is actually quite amazing what people put up with when they think they use a superior service or product (e.g. Farcebook, Gmail, Flash, etc...)

  22. Bunty

    High handed google again!

    Google pulling the strings again, calling the tune now after taking our pics 2 yrs ago!

    It was a nasty surprise to me to loose my pics on Picasa when big bad Google pulled them all!Think it was because I left Youtube. Now Google is throwing it's weight around pulling music and depriving more folk of enjoyment for an extra buck, by the look of things.

    When Google shut down my Picasa I lost cherished, irreplaceable photos of my children, grandchildren and great grandchildren, my youngest son's pics from the Olympics and beloved pets no longer with me. Now Google is acting high handed again and pulling music. I access Youtube for some great music which Google doesn't care if folks watch and hear or not! It's a service too Google give or loose your supporters/customers.

    When the evenings draw in again I shall be working on getting rid of all things Google, possible, on my computers and protecting what I cherish and enjoy! Google you upset a lot of older folk with your heavy handed ways, we aren't used to being treated so rough and we won't by standing by and be treated in such underhanded ways or seeing others walked over! Support the up and coming young musicians and all that is good in music not the extra "buck" as they say in US.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: High handed google again!

      No offence, but if you "cherish and enjoy" your stuff, maybe you should spend a few bob trying to keep a "backup" of them...

    2. Mark Morgan

      Re: High handed google again!

      I suspect you didn't "leave Youtube" as you put it but in fact deleted your Google account. Your Youtube, Picasa, Panoramio, Google+ and Google account are all one and the same these days. Only the Google Mail account is separated as you can delete that without deleting your Google account.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hold on, Google is going to remove their music even when submitted by end users?

    Haven't they said time and again that mass removals of stuff is way too difficult that they can't possibly do it? But somehow when it is in their own interest to as a "negotiating" (read that in an Italian accent) tactic it is simple?

    I hope people are taking notes for the next time they tell the EU or whoever they can't possibly be bothered to do mass removals.

  24. This post has been deleted by its author

  25. msknight

    Good - as long as MadeineTaly gets toasted

    Those bastards have had a false copyright claim against my video for months and months now ... my only recourse is to drag them AND YouTube in to court for defamation of character. It seems that a good chunk of Mr Kevin McLeod's royalty free music has been targeted , possibly because it IS, er, royalty free?

    So if MadeineTaly gets toasted... that's fine by me.

    Actually, the whole issue ISN'T fine by me to be honest, I've been not buying music since the mid of last year in protest at the insanity that is going on in the music retail world ... and you know what ... I've got oodles of good old stuff that I'm not getting tired of yet.

    Perhaps if we all stopped buying mainstream music?

    The only good thing that could come out of this is if an enterprising soul took the bull by the horns and set up a "do no evil" representation of all the indi's. Anyone got old Beardy's phone number?

    1. Indolent Wretch

      Re: Good - as long as MadeineTaly gets toasted

      >> Perhaps if we all stopped buying mainstream music?

      Unfortunately if we all did that then the drop in sales would be attributed to piracy. The MPAAs of this world would become increasingly shrill. And after another intensive bout of lobbying controls on the Internet would become even more draconian.

      Won't somebody think of poor old Sony!

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Abusing their dominant position?

    I'm pretty sure that the EU courts would consider this activity as Google abusing their dominant position. Just like they found MS guilty of when they were pre-installing IE with windows?

    I'm pretty sure that when Google started they really did believe that they should "do no evil", but like all companies, now they are full of MBA waving middle management types they naturally become evil - got to do anything to raise that shareprice for their bonuses...

    I think this is a real opportunity for Myspace to join up with Vimeo (or similar) and take the online music space back from youtube & Facebook. The music industry is much like the internet, what was cool last week is not going to be cool next week, and it's so easy to just jump ship. It's no longer just obscure bands that are on indie labels anymore, so google could find it is just full of teen bands and old rockers.

    1. Intractable Potsherd

      Re: Abusing their dominant position?

      Good point about MBAs - something the world didn't need supplied by and to people the world could do without. Is there anything good to say about the damned things?

  27. JBreezy

    Anti-Google hysteria

    The BBC is carrying this story but is telling it in a different way. Far from the 'Google is evil and screwing over independant artists' which seems to be the flavor here.

    I'm no expert, but my understanding is this:

    Google are renegotiating contracts for ALL labels.

    Labels want to be paid to put their content on youtube.

    Youtube only wants to pay them £x per view (or maybe even a flat rate?)

    The labels instead think they deserve to be paid £y

    They cannot reach an agreement so the videos will be pulled down. Is that about correct? If so it seems reasonable, Google can't host the videos without the labels permission, and it's really hard to say who is to blame for it.

    Maybe google are offering ridiculously low rates. Maybe the labels are demanding ridiculously high rates. We don't have the numbers. So how can we judge? (Though bear in mind: "hundreds of major and independent labels are already partnering with us <google>"

    Google may very well be evil in this case. But equally as likely is the record labels and major musicians are being greedy and oppurtunistic. It would hardly be the first time a musician (or record label) has screwed fans over because they didn't feel they were being paid enough.

    Just my 2c.

    1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

      Re: Anti-Google hysteria

      "Google are renegotiating contracts for ALL labels."

      Yes, but not all labels are treated equally. That's why the indies are upset.


  28. Amorous Cowherder

    They're targetting those wonderful demographics!

    Firstly the 8-13 year old teenager with their first disposable income, hasn't really found their feet quite yet with regards music, still buying manufactured pop-pap until they discover nihilistic indy-music, just before they start their GCSEs.

    Secondly the 30-something who never really got into indy music other than buying a Stone Roses CD a few years back 'cos it had that song on it that was in such and such film. Happy to buy Coldplay and Rihanna CDs by the bucketload and the odd MP3 single off X-Factor with that bloke/women with the good voice.

    Lastly the 40-something "rock-Dad", likes a little jive to AC/DC at nephew/nieces wedding or that one off that commercial Yes album that everyone has, doesn't like anything heavier, happy to go all teary at the thought of an REO Speedwagon track that him and the Missus played at their wedding 20 years ago. WIll happily hoover up soft-rock CDs in TESCO like they're going out of fashion.

    All three groups are superb money spinners for the music industry mainstream!

  29. snowbeddow

    But I already use Google's music streaming service, did I miss something?

    Not to take away from the core issue here but I already use Google's streaming service for music, I don't quite understand what this new unannounced 'Spotify Clone' is as they already have one, so how is this even changing anything?

    I generally listen to old music to be honest, so maybe I just didn't notice there was a lot of indie music missing from the current service, it seemed no different to Rdio or Spotify for my tastes.

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