Youtube To Launch Music Service Amid Indie Dispute

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YouTube will launch a new subscription music service, the company acknowledged after being dragged into a public dispute over royalties that will result in the blockade of some independent artists' music videos.

The Google-owned video site said that it is "adding subscription-based features for music on YouTube" and that "hundreds of major label and independent artists" have signed on. The paid service -- to be launched soon -- will likely allow playback of videos without ads and allow for offline playback on mobile devices.

The people familiar with the matter also confirmed that a small number of independent artists who had not agreed to new deal terms will have their videos blocked in some countries starting in a few days, even on the free version of YouTube.

YouTube will block the music videos so users of the test version won't be confused about which content they can access for free and which features require payment, the people said. Allowing free streams of music by certain artists while not offering them on the paid service would erode the value of the paid plan, one person said.

The move also adds pressure on those labels to sign, because not being on YouTube altogether will result in less advertising revenue and exposure.

Youtube To Launch Music Service Amid Indie Dispute YouTube Confirms Subscription Service Imminent, Warns of Takedowns (Billboard) YouTube changes terms and conditions for labels (American Public Media) YouTube to Block Videos From Some Indie Labels (New York Times)