A forthcoming foray in Google’s campaign to take over the internet is a music streaming service, a competitor to Spotify.
There were rumours for a long time, but official word is out now. Google has done deals with “the majors”, the three corporations who account for about two-thirds of global music sales. The rest, “independent” labels of all sizes, well, that’s another story.
It appears that Google was offering them less favourable terms than to the majors — less money, in other words — and they weren’t having it. In fact, a confederation of independent labels has petitioned EU competition authorities to examine the situation. Good luck with that.
But the most shocking aspect is that Google threatened to ban independent labels from YouTube if they didn’t sign. That’s not just rumour. A YouTube executive has now confirmed to the Financial Times that indie music videos will begin to disappear “within days”.
I’ve often posted links to YouTube music videos on my Facebook page. It’s a way of letting people know what I like or what I feel like. Generally, those won’t have been music on major labels, although that was just a reflection of the kinds of music I like, not a political choice.
Now it is though. I won’t be promoting YouTube for music videos any more. It’s possible that the indie labels will come up with something, or maybe migrate en masse to one of the other services, such as Vimeo. But if the music is the thing, there’s always BandCamp and SoundCloud as well.