Last month, YouTube flatly stated they would block videos from independent record labels they could not reach a deal with. After an uproar in the music community, YouTube has not blocked any videos so far and is allowing more time for negotiations.
Since this slight change in attitude, more than 800 Independent labels have formed a pact seeking fair treatment from music streaming services. Initiated by the Worldwide Independent Network (WIN) – the organization that represents the interests of the global independent music community – they issued a Fair Digital Deals Pledge that labels could sign.
Uniting the cause seems to have brought the issue attention. The attention may help improve the negotiated deal independent labels make with YouTube.
There are five main points in the Fair Digital Deals Pledge, which you can read and join here. The pledge goes on to summarize by saying:
We wholly disapprove of certain practices which leave artists under-recompensed and under-informed in the digital marketplace and will work together with the artist community to counter these practices.
There was no big news when Beats Music, Spotify, Rdio or any of the other music streaming services negotiated their compensation deals with independent labels. So with over 800 labels uniting for fair rights and pay which YouTube negotiations ignited, questions should be asked:
1) Are the labels generally seeking a bigger pay structure because of the enormous reach, potential, and profit YouTube’s parent company, Google, has?
2) Is YouTube using its size to offer inferior terms for smaller labels and calling it standard market value?