YouTube giveth — and YouTube taketh away. The Google-owned company is primed to launch a new subscription service and in order to unleash it unto the world, it will be blocking videos from any labels who refuse to agree to the service’s licensing terms.
Robert Kyncl, YouTube’s head of content and business operations, told the Financial Times that the videos from withholding labels will begin disappearing “in a matter of days.” Labels currently holding out include Merlin, XL Recordings and Domino, who are behind acts like Adele, The xx and the Arctic Monkeys.
Kyncl said that 95 percent of the music industry is apparently on board with the terms of the service. The rest are asking European regulators to examine Google’s actions, claiming that YouTube is “abusing its market dominance” in order to persuade labels to agree to “highly unfavourable” licensing deals, according to Helen Smith, executive chair of Impala, a trade body for independent music companies.
“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 to launch the enhanced music experience,” Kyncl said.
That — paid — service, according to Mashable, will likely be similar to Spotify, featuring ad-free listening across devices and offline playback.
The splintering within the label system isn’t anything new when it comes to launching music subscription services. Amazon’s new subscription service, Prime Music, launched sans Universal Music Group, and it took more than a while for all four major labels to get on board with Spotify in the U.S.