YouTube is one of the biggest websites around, pulling in a whopping 100 million visitors every month. When it first started, YouTube made deals with record labels on licensing fees for music videos. When you click on your favourite artist's music video, they and their record label get money or they split advertising revenue. Record labels receive tens of millions of dollars from this nifty site you view for free.
It seems like a pretty sweet deal, but apparently not for Warner Brothers Records. They feel as though their artists are not getting what they deserve in comparison to other artists on other labels. Apparently, YouTube is playing favourites. Warner wants to make sure that their songwriters, publishers and artists get fair compensation for their work. Neil Young has become their mouthpiece, defending his label and their decision. He wants there to be a standard so all artists are compensated equally from the net and Warner is taking a step in that direction. Their first drastic move was to demand that all their music videos be taken off YouTube. YouTube responded by ordering account holders to either take music videos of Warner artists down or take the music off the video, resulting in many muted music videos.
This is a lesson in not biting the hand that feeds you. By trying to take down all traces of their artists from YouTube, Warner is only hurting themselves. Their artists will not get the viewership needed to keep them relevant and popular. It will also relegate their music to radio and television. People get frustrated with these mediums because it dictates what they will watch or hear. They want the luxury of switching videos halfway through or replaying them over and over. People will move on to other artists who do have their videos available. Warner needs to be reminded that it is only the third biggest record company and YouTube is the king of video sites; they should pick their battles wisely. The Internet is dominating most medias and companies can either go with the flow or get left out in the cold.
Instead of fighting with their sugar daddy, Warner should wear that sexy new dress and try to score some freebies. They should be trying to strike new deals with YouTube, rather than pouting and refusing to come to bed. Warner represents some music industry heavyweights and they are going to have some demands. If Warner cannot meet them, they will go somewhere else. Warner needs to look at different options, like new ways to generate money for artists to entice YouTube to up the ante, instead of having their artists taken out of one of the most popular sites. A little creativity never hurt anyone.