Forbes Reports YouTube’s Blocking Content of Indie Artists like Adele

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At the end of the summer, according to,. YouTube is supposedly launching a new music streaming service called “YouTube Music Pass“.

With it is likely to come the blocking of live concert appearances any day now that have been freely available on the distribution platform. Artists like Adele and Radiohead were mentioned as possible targets of blocking. Also, indie artists have not negotiated licensing agreements for their content like the three major labels – Sony, Warner and Universal. Indie  labels haven’t been offered the same deal. This leaves them vulnerable to being blocked soon, according to the Worldwide Independent Network (WIN).

According to, “the indies are being faced with two options; sign the licensing deals or face being left off the service AND have your content removed from the site.”

The Forbes article also quotes Kristoffer Rom, co-chairman of Danish indepependent label association DUP, who thinks this could kill the independent music industry. YouTube’s power as a platform comes from its music videos and if commercial videos remain there, indie artists will be pushed out like the old days of MTV. All of YouTube’s most-watched video except 3-4 in their top 30, are music videos, and 90% of those are VEVO videos. PSY ranks on top with over 2 billions views for one of his 3 videos topping those charts.

[YouTube] has also in the past made much of its support for independent artists, as [Rom] points out.

“YouTube’s self-proclaimed role as a distribution platform for original content creators and advertisers large and small’ is little more than hollow branding of a company that in reality is losing touch with the very creators and audience that have bloated the size of the platform into the stratosphere over the years,” he says.

This will surely have some impact on the algorithms or killbots used to detect copyright infringement when it comes to user-generated content that includes commercially-recorded music. I wonder if user-generated videos of black girls twerking to hit rap songs will start to be blocked as YouTube’s begins to redine its brand around music. Only time will tell.


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