Pharrell Williams and about 40 other singers and songwriters have joined forces and are demanding that YouTube takes down about 20,000 videos, otherwise they will sue the company for $1 Billion.
The group of artists are all part of a newly founded legal Group called Global Music Rights which is headed by Irving Azoff who is a well known manager of many artists.
Google has announced the new subscription service Music Key under the YouTube brand which will go up against other streaming services such as Spotify. The company claims they do have the rights and so far has not agreed to take down the content.
This is the latest drama when it comes to digital music and the debate about artists being compensated properly. Just recently, Taylor Swift pulled all her music from Spotify ahead of her new 1989 album, here is what she said in an interview about the move:
“Music is changing so quickly, and the landscape of the music industry itself is changing so quickly, that everything new, like Spotify, all feels to me a bit like a grand experiment,” Swift said. “And I’m not willing to contribute my life’s work to an experiment that I don’t feel fairly compensates the writers, producers, artists and creators of this music. And I just don’t agree with perpetuating the perception that music has no value and should be free.”
It will be interesting to see if the big players in the streaming business change the way they compensate artists in order to avoid law suits or music being pulled completely.
According to the Financial Times, Apple is going to pre-install Beats Music on all iOS devices starting early next year. Since the $3.2 billion acquisition of Beats there have been many rumors surrounding the streaming service Beats Music. People wondered if Apple would keep it around at all or integrate it with iTunes.
So it seems Apple is going to keep Beats as a separate brand to gain market share in the music streaming space. Spotify is the world’s largest music streaming service with 50 million users of which 12.5 million are paying customers. Amazon offers free music streaming to Prime customers and Google has a number of offerings, most recently they released Music Key which could shake up the entire industry.
Certainly no lack of competition in the space which in the end only benefits consumers but continued price decreases of course also have a negative effect on the music industry in terms of earnings / royalties.
Google is going to launch the highly anticipated music streaming service Music Key under the YouTube brand on Monday November 17th. The invite-only service is going to be available in the U.S., U.K., Ireland, Spain, Italy, Finland and Portugal. With your $9.99 subscription you are going to automatically have access to Google Play Music as well.
The ad-free service will allow you to watch videos and listen to music even when you have no internet connection or you use another app.
Members that will be invited to use the service are going to get six month for free and only pay $8 after if they decide to keep it.
Google has also launched a free music streaming service which includes advertising. The regular YouTube app will have a separate tab for music.
So what does this mean for the music streaming industry?
Companies like Spotify better watch out because with the reach of YouTube it would be strange if Music Key doesn’t become the largest music streaming service in a very short period of time.
Spotify has 50 million users of which 12.5 million use the subscription, advertising-free version. They are the largest streaming music service today however if you consider that YouTube has 1 billion monthly users, you do the math. The free music streaming service will be integrated with YouTube, if only a fraction of the regular visitors use it, Music Key will surpass all other services. The key for YouTube will be to convert visitors to the subscription service.
YouTube Music Key might just be what the masses and the music industry have been waiting for.