Google is preparing to launch their own music streaming service under the YouTube brand name, called YouTube Music Pass. The new service will use YouTube content and offer it on a music platform, similar to Spotify or Rdio.
In a move to make sure they get all the artists on their service, Google is apparently forcing their weight around. According to several reports, YouTube will start banning artists and labels who do not sign YouTube Music Pass’ licensing agreement.
This will force indie artists who rely on YouTube exposure to gain album sales to sign onto the deal, even if it is not in their favor. Bands who are against streaming music like Radiohead, Adele and the Arctic Monkeys might be taken off YouTube entirely.
YouTube has released their own statement about the service:
“We’re adding subscription-based features for music on YouTube with this in mind – to bring our music partners new revenue streams in addition to the hundreds of millions of dollars YouTube already generates for them each year. We are excited that hundreds of major and independent labels are already partnering with us.”
This comment does not seem disingenuous, but it also does not deny the rumors Google is trying to strong-arm the music labels. This is a sad state of affairs, not only does it make bargaining deals impossible, but it forces indies to sign up whether they want to or not.
We do not expect YouTube to go through with the banning of artists when YouTube Music Pass goes live, now that the public has heard these reports Google are most likely going to stop the aggressive push to get all labels.
It is odd that YouTube Music Pass will become a thing, considering Google already has All Access, their music streaming service for Android for $9.99 a month.