Google strong-arms indie musicians into accepting brutal, crowdfunding-killing deal for streaming service


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Oh noes. People with a valuable service are telling other people who want to use it to make money for themselves that there are conditions for using it. Oh noes.

Okay, someone has to ask: which part of “Don’t be evil” is this, again?


Google: Don’t Be Evil.


Starting with the false dilemma are we? That’s not even the fallacy of those who are trying hard.


I don’t do much YouTube, and specifically dislike it for music, so my opinion on this doesn’t matter, but I do use Google Music. Albeit less and less: I’ve found the feature set, or lack thereof, increasingly disappointing.

On the other hand I’m really liking Patreon, and the last four seven albums I bought were on Kickstarter PledgeMusic (oops, my bad). I have bought a number of album as Kickstarters as well.

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I’m not a big fan of this. As far as the early release for backers and fans, could this be circumvented by having a second band name? i.e. “The Rolling Stones” and “The Rolling Stones Fans”.

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This seems to include indie artists using Content-ID to make money while letting people use their music in normal videos that aren’t simply music videos.

Welcome, Mitt ‘corporations are people too’ Romney!


Perhaps on a label in the Cayman Islands?


I would expect the video services that are not youtube will step up to fill the gap. Or a new one will be made.

I don’t know how artists would get around the “youtube visibility is required to succeed” part of the equation but it wouldn’t be the first time indies have been in a situation like this… they should almost be used to pulling up stakes and moving somewhere else by now.

Not that it makes it right, but it does mean google will eventually lose.


Fixed that for ya.


This raises interesting questions about monopoly. Does monopoly not count if it’s on the internet? Does anybody know what ever happened with the Microsoft antitrust suit? (Besides the obvious part about nothing.)


It would depend upon the jurisdiction of the corporation. But it doesn’t apply here, because YouTube don’t have a monopoly on anything. There are lots of video streaming sites, and music streaming sites. Unfortunately, if more people decide to use YouTube despite them not offering anything of note, they can really only blame themselves. YT have been getting worse rather steadily IMO over the past five years or so.

Unfortunately, with services such as YouTube, Facebook, eBay, etc many people seem to feel locked in and refuse to use other similar services. I completely don’t understand it.

That sounds like the worst for music :rage:

it’s “the same strategy they used with Google Plus: instead of creating a new service and letting it compete on its own merits, they’re going to artificially prop it up by giving people no choice but to sign up for it.”

The resemblance is weak. To compete with a social network you have to kickstart the engine a bit. The main advantage the Facebook has is that most people are on Facebook. As for having “no choice but to sign up for it”, I’m sorry for your struggles, and hope that you are okay now. Basically all you had to do is join your youtube and google account, you didn’t have to connect to G+ anymore. They just joined the accounts on multiple services, Yahoo made the same thing a few years back with Flickr users.

How would you start a competing social network?

Well if one provider has a mere 90% of the audience that’s still a monopoly - they don’t have to actually drive the very last competitor into bankruptcy. From a musician’s point of view, that 90% is an audience worth reaching. Even if you’re a snobby indie guy, there must be somebody worthy among those tens of millions?


In the Zoe Keating piece linked:

If it’s not awesome for you it’s because you just don’t understand it yet and you’ll come around.

There must be a formal name for this? (“It works for me, so it must work for you, and if it doesn’t, you’re the one with the problem.”) It seems to be the root cause of pretty much every absurd thing I read lately.


Indie artists of the world, unite! Seriously a guild or union of some kind is needed so they can negotiate with google/ amazon etc.

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I don’t think so, because their business is based upon their “partners” the content providers, not the viewers. If you are looking to get music videos hosted, they aren’t your only option. And there’s nothing stopping one even from hosting their own videos themselves. If you don’t need them to facilitate this, then, as I understand it, they don’t have any sort of monopoly,

I think most artists are far too hung up on ideas of publicity. Try explaining to them that it really doesn’t matter how many people do/don’t listen to or watch their music… What many want to do is wait until the other options are “bigger”, which probably meansthey will then treat them in a similarly lame corporate fashion. And making ones content available from a number of smaller services is work compared to the ideal of doing everything in one place.