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YouTube to start removing videos with indie label music (Radiohead included)

Andrew Reid

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Blur Hyde Park gig

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The relationship between record labels and the internet is in a tense state of affairs. On one hand large record companies such as EMI are suing Vimeo for copyright infringement, hence we have Copyright Match. YouTube on the other hand pays a minuscule royalty fee to record labels where uploaded content contains their music.

YouTube plans to launch a new subscription based music service to rival Apple iTunes where content can be downloaded and played on a mobile device with no internet connection. It goes directly head to head with iTunes.

The problem is, smaller record labels feel they are being bullied and the very survival of smaller artists is at stake here...

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If there was a bullet-proof way for filmmakers, amateur and pro alike to license commercial music instantly and easily with the click of a button and the payment of a one off $50.

Oh yes. That is simple yet great. Do you think most musicians will be happy with that though?

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I love the Oatmeal by the way but in this instance they are far off the mark in terms of reality. If you completely remove the record label from the picture then who is going to invest in finding upcoming talent and paying for them to record?


If we all give our money direct to the artists, the artists will not do the fostering of other talent. Some record label of some kind is still needed to run the music industry. The artists on their own cannot do it.

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I make about 90% of my income making music videos, mostly with independent labels, PR and unsigned acts and I know a lot of bands... the effort these guys go to is absolutely immense and many of the tracks are much better than that chart nonsense the big labels stuff into our ears and brain until we are hypnotised or get into an almost violent, rebellious state of mind.


This completely sucks. I'm fed up of this bullying in the music industry. Some band members I know are geniuses, but have to make do stacking shelves 8 hours a week in a pound shop. They get bit by the money men and get nothing in return. They either waste talent or steal their worth for their own greed. 


My music video was up for Best Music Video at the Metal Hammer Golden Gods 2014 (it didn't win), and the quality of the entertainment was incredible. The energy and desire form the playing bands was unreal - bands who have toured constantly, slept in the car boot and lived on instant noodles just to play and get noticed. But the way things are going, genuine bands/artists won't get this chance and we will forever be presented with the conveyer belt of manufactured, soulless rubbish designed to make the big wigs fat and the most promising musicians with nothing but their 8 hour shift in the local pound shop. 


This says it all.... my brother is a singer and auditioned for X Factor 'for a laugh.' He got through 3 rounds, but was then turned down as they couldn't see how he would benefit from the competition. We received sad news that his wife (my sister in law) was diagnosed with a life threatening illness. X Factor representatives called him regarding auditions for Britains Got Talent...he said he couldn't attend as he needs to look after his wife because of her illness. At the instance he mentioned it, they said he could go back in the process because 'he would get far and have great appeal.' My brother sniffed a rotten fish...and told them where to go. 


This situation with my brother was quite sick, and sums the music industry in a nutshell. The power of the talent shows is immense and they dominate so much of the industry. But they are soulless sods who are only interested in exploiting vulnerable people and trying to dominate the industry with diluted brain warping rubbish. 


Independent music needs protection and must find a way to triumph over this diabolical situation. 

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playing the devils advocate google-youtube could say that the costs of maintaining servers and giving access to millions of people worldwide to your music is a highly valued service...bs

i have quit using youtube a long time ago as a medium, one of the courses i studied was internet privacy, google is the original robocop company of a dystopian future. all engrossing monopoly
all seeing eye, panopticon.

i think we as users should kill it. log off go for the wild horse..

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Even for recording covers.     I would love to be able to hit a pay now button to be able to pay a small amount to upload cover songs on the likes of You tube.


Everyone would win.     The copyright owners get money they otherwise would not (plus more exposure to their stuff so more would go looking for the originals), the hosting service would get their cut of course and the cover bands get local (and if they are good enough) wider exposure.


Crazy as it is now!

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The artists themselves.  Just like filmmaking, it's not expensive to do these days.

That's shit, though.  Part of the reason I got into filmmaking is so I can make videos for my band without having to worry about some flakey videographer/filmmaker (and I'm shooting one tonight and another in the morning).


I want to make music, not promote.  I want to perform, not worry about distribution.  I want to get in the van and ride to bumfuck Indiana so I can play in front of 8 people for no money, because it's what I enjoy doing, not play phone tag with the venue or two dudes putting on the show with a couple local bands that no one locally cares about.  Same thing with films, right?  Do you want to make films, or do you want to spend all your time trying to sell them?  It's like that dude with the script.  He's so busy trying to sell it, he forgets to write another one.

If your band is already well-established, like trent reznor, for example, going the full monty direct distribution route is feasible.  If you're joe blow just trying to make it, having a good label behind you can be the difference between going "somewhere" or just spinning your wheels.  There's an art to it.  

From a consumer perspective, I like labels because they curate their music collection.  I can be assured that music coming from a specific label, while I'm not guaranteed to like it, at least is in the general ballpark of the stuff I do like.  That's the value of the label to me as a consumer:  They listen to 10,000 shitty bands and pick out the couple that have potential, so I don't have to.  


From a band perspective, the label gives us good/reliable contacts in other towns to help set up shows.  They handle the pressing and distribution of the recorded product and I don't have to have 100 boxes of 7" records laying around my tiny apartment.   The label sends out the records to the various fanzines and college radio stations, and all we had to do was get in the van and drive.  We sold a lot of merch, but with gas at $4.50/gallon, that was a break-even proposition.  

I don't know what the actual answer is other than to try and weather the storm and see how it shakes out on the other side, but direct distribution isn't the 100% answer 100% of the time.


EDIT:  I will add that we also don't pay to record our music because our singer is an audio engineer in his day job (I'm a software dev).  He has a nice recording studio built in his backyard, but that wasn't free to build or maintain.  It doesn't cost the band anything to record, but it's far from free and is typically subsidized by charging other bands to record there, as well.

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Some Indie artists didn't want to agree to YouTube's proposed contract to use YouTube's streaming services. It says 90% of artists have agreed. 10% have made the "stand". I guess they expect YouTube to compile a team of accountants or something to specially negotiate individuals contracts with thousands of indie artists. Something tells me these 10% will come crawling back eventually. I know I should be sympathetic to art and artists, but I don't understand why artists can never wrap their heads around capitalism. Google's job is maximize profits. This is the common expectation of shareholders, particularly for large cap publicly traded companies. If you don't want Google's hand in your pocket, don't use its service, and forge any benefits or costs assisted with it. The fact that 90% have signed the contract tells me the deal is probably fair?

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There are close to one million books published globally, every year.  There are over 40,000 full-length audio releases.  If you want to check each one out it would take your 53 hours per day (weekends included).  Want to watch every movie?  32 hours per day.  In short,  artists produce more content then anyone can keep up with.  Again, that's just listening/watching once to see if you like it. Then there are magazines, TV, art shows, lectures, etc.  All this content has a simple effect on many people--it makes them anxious.  Big companies grow on the back of that anxiety.  They select a few (if even using political methods) which gives people MORE time to enjoy that art, and less time trying to keep up with all the artists vying for their attention.


There are only so many hours in the day.


Art hasn't changed since the dawn of time.  From my favorite poet on the subject of the artistic way of life, from H. S. Mauberley, by Ezra Pound (1920)


Here are a couple of selections:



In the cream gilded cabin of his steam yacht
Mr. Nixon advised me kindly, to advance with fewer 
Dangers of delay. "Consider
          "Carefully the reviewer.

"I was as poor as you are;
"When I began I got, of course,
"Advance on royalties, fifty at first," said Mr. Nixon, 
"Follow me, and take a column, 
"Even if you have to work free.

"Butter reviewers. From fifty to three hundred
"I rose in eighteen months;
"The hardest nut I had to crack
"Was Dr. Dundas.

"I never mentioned a man but with the view
"Of selling my own works.
"The tip's a good one, as for literature
"It gives no man a sinecure.

"And no one knows, at sight, a masterpiece.
"And give up verse, my boy,
"There's nothing in it."


Beneath the sagging roof
The stylist has taken shelter,
Unpaid, uncelebrated,
At last from the world's welter

Nature receives him;
With a placid and uneducated mistress
He exercises his talents
And the soil meets his distress.



Yes, no one at sight knows a masterpiece and most artists' work is pissing in the wind--I can tell you mine is  ;)

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I know I should be sympathetic to art and artists, but I don't understand why artists can never wrap their heads around capitalism.

They definitely can. They took a look at their projected income and said, "fuck this".


What they're not, are corporate sympathisers.


Yes, no one at sight knows a masterpiece and most artists' work is pissing in the wind--I can tell you mine is   ;)

That's true, and also depressing. Sometimes makes me want to give it all up.  -_- 

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Yep, vevo will still be showing their indie videos on youtube, but in general, it's more of the same.. corporations are doing the cram down on musicians.


Possibly good news for Vimeo though, they should pick up the slack.

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