There have been rumors since 2013 that YouTube could be planning on launching a music streaming service of their own. Given the popularity of such services, we can definitely see the appeal. Unfortunately since the rumor in 2013, we have not heard about it since, with a report in December 2013 suggesting that the launch of the streaming service has been delayed.
So why is this? What could be the hold up? Well according to the New York Times, the reason behind the delay is because Google, YouTube’s owner, is having some contract disputes with indie music labels. It seems that the contracts that Google offered to indie labels is very different from the ones offered to major labels, a move which the Worldwide Independent Network claims is unfair.
It seems that the negotiations between Google and indie labels have been dragging on for months, and the only reason that this has come to light is apparently due to a warning by Google that if the labels failed to agree to YouTube’s licensing terms, their music would be blocked on YouTube channels, meaning that they will not be able to collect advertising revenue from uploaded videos.
This sounds like a strong arm tactic and definitely seems as though Google could be bullying their way to getting an agreement that would work out in their favor. However in response to the accusations, a YouTube spokesman was quoted as saying, “We have successful deals in place with hundreds of independent and major labels around the world; however, we don’t comment on ongoing negotiations.”
Will Google/YouTube be able to rectify all of this and rollout their new YouTube music streaming service in a timely manner? Hopefully, but in the meantime it seems that WIN and other indie organizations from around the world have called out to YouTube to reconsider their position.