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YouTube pressuring artists to sign with YouTube Music Key service

YouTube is forcibly pushing artists into their new service - Music Key

By Chris Smith from Jan 25, 2015 @ 8:28 CST

YouTube's Music Key service is trying to build its popularity and apparently they're going the wrong way about it. Zoƫ Keating has expressed her concerns on Tumblr, asking the simple question "What should I do about YouTube?"


What's the problem, you ask? Summed up in the opening paragraph of this blog, Keating states "...the message was firm: I have to decide. I need to sign on to the new YouTube music services agreement or I will have my YouTube channel blocked." This statement points to a possibility that this is a move by the Google-owned company to force artists over to their new service in a pledge to increase popularity thanks to there being no other option.

If she wishes to keep her channel as it is, she must agree to the following - as described in her blog post:

  • All of my catalog must be included in both the free and premium music service. Even if I don't deliver all my music, because I'm a music partner, anything that a 3rd party uploads with my info in the description will be automatically included in the music service too
  • All songs will be set to "montetize", meaning there will be ads on them
  • I will be required to release new music on YouTube at the same time I release it anywhere else. So no more releasing to my core fans first on Bandcamp and then on iTunes
  • All my catalog must be uploaded at high resolution, according to Google's standard which is currently 320 kbps.
  • The contract lasts for 5 years

The issue here doesn't come with joining in the streaming service, Keating points out that her issue due to the 'strongarm' attitude by YouTube and her apparent lack of choice.

According to a report by Gizmodo, a Google representative was "frankly surprised that Keating was so upset by the new term, given that they simply provide another avenue for artists to make money," with them further explaining that "the spokesman denied that Keating would removed from YouTube or that her videos would be blocked, however, they did say that if Keating was going to monetise her music, she would need to go all in. The spokesman also noted that if Keating still wanted to manage who was using her music in videos using ContentID, she would still be allowed to."


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