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

You’re right! Because of that, people must also automatically be in love with all new contractual conditions and obligations that they are forced into! Nor are they allowed to share their feelings on the matter in an intelligent and civilized way!


Just because there are other video sites, that doesn’t mean that YouTube isn’t a monopoly. Windows was a monopoly, but MacOS, Linux, BeOS, Amiga, BSD, Solaris, IRIX, etc etc all existed, as well. That said, that doesn’t mean any legal action is necessarily going to happen because of it.


Works for corporations!

Windows was not a monopoly. Micro$haft were getting antitrust suits because they were engaging in other uncompetitive practices. Like essentially bribing PC manufacturers to sell new PCs with Windows and nothing else, and for including their crappy web browser with the OS in places where there were laws against this. Lots of their products such as DirectX, .NET, and even Office years back were being given away to practically everybody along with powerful push, various incentives, disincentives, bribes, etc. They may have wanted a monopoly, but they never got there.

Unfortunately, with web services it seems like the users have mostly themselves to blame for refusing to use most of the many services available to them. It’s more like Stockholm syndrome than anything else.

Basically, a monopoly is when for whatever reasons, only one company can offer a certain kind of product or service. It doesn’t mean that there happen to be lots of other options which you simply choose not to use. For instance, in much of the US cable service is a local monopoly because of the infrastructure, you can’t choose another provider.

Considering the fact that (according to Wikipedia), Standard Oil had a 70% market share the year that antitrust proceedings were taken against them (with a maximum of 85% to 91%, depending on what number you’re counting), then yes, I would say that Microsoft Windows had a monopoly given the fact that their market share went up to something around 95% (if I remember correctly).

Regardless, you are correct that it is abuse of said monopoly (i.e. leveraging it into other markets, specifically the web browser market) that got Microsoft into trouble.

No, by the literal Greek “monos-polein” definition of the word, Microsoft was not literally a monopoly, but that’s not what I, or pretty much anyone is ever talking about.


I think the salient point is that YouTube have significant market power, there are significant barriers to entry for competitors, and they are starting to demand customers adhere to onerous agreements that they probably wouldn’t accept in a healthy marketplace, meaning the current outcome for consumers is poor.

The term “monopoly” seems to be a distraction here.


Is there any significance to the fact that the image with the post is of an extremely rare left handed wood screw? I guess I’m just a fastener geek.


But, like I said, market share for YouTube doesn’t mean the same thing. Are its millions of viewers paying them anything? Are most of the people who upload video to YouTube paying them anything? Do they have a monopoly on ad revenues? I don’t know how I would go about measuring its market.

How would you explain the apparent dilemma of complaints of exclusivity when you have numerous choices for hosting and viewing streamed video? How do you explain that the lock-in is apparently only in people’s minds?

I think YouTube is lame, but that’s why I never put any video on it. I never felt compelled to use them and be limited by their terms.

You should read Zoe’s article. You obviously have not.


I guess you could roughly map it to a broadcast model, where revenue is derived from advertising, and broadcasters need a license to use bandwidth. In this case the “Broadcaster” needs to adhere to copyright legislation that requires significant infrastructure to comply with, thus the barrier for entry.

The difference then is that in one model the broadcaster has to buy compelling content to earn the ad revenue, in the other the broadcaster has content provided to them in exchange for use of the platform, for which in turn the broadcaster gets ad revenue.

Sort of, except broadcast connotes content produced by a small, select group of parties which is intended to be viewed by a much larger mass of people. With YouTube, most of the content is also provided by these same viewers. I agree that they have been striving to make it more broadcast like (which is an IMO completely backwards business model), but most of their content is still sourced for free.

But, even considering all of this, I am struggling with how they could possibly be described as any sort of monopoly, rather than just some shite streaming service.

The “Dont be caught doing Evil that we can’t justify to our shareholders” part

Well, it looks like ‘DON’T BE EVIL’ has finally morphed into “Let’s Fuck the Artists” - very disappointing move, Google!

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bandcamp, y’all!

Been thinking about this idea on and off for the last couple years. My wife and I run a tiny, broke-ass, two-bit label out of our house. Originally the thought came about because of issues related to vinyl pressing, (i.e., it being expensive and not remotely having any leverage to negotiate prices) but the concept can apply to digital stuff too.

The idea would be to bring together some other broke-ass, two-bit labels from around the Northeast to form a loose knit, ragtag band of misfits. With the proliferation of DIY-ish labels over the last few years (which can often be kinda collectives in themselves) it actually seems like it could be a somewhat mildly feasible goal. Perhaps then half-ass labels might have at least some tiny shred of bargaining power when dealing with distributors/pressing plants/etc.

Sure there are organizations already out there, like A2IM, which have vaguely similar goals. But A2IM’s minimum yearly dues is $1,000. At this point we’d be ecstatic with $1,000 in yearly net, so clearly that’s not an option for us. What I’m thinking about is something geared for far smaller operations and organized on a regional basis. The only bar to entry would be an initiation rite pledging one’s eternal service to the will of the dark lord. Perhaps masks would be compulsory during bi-annual meetings. Haven’t fully worked out the details…


Or, if you wish to give it away for free,

That is one business model, yes.

That’s the “???” step before “Profit!”, right?

Not quite following you there.
Care to elaborate?
A lot of people put music out for free with no business model in mind other than to draw attention to the music, sometimes with a view to increase live audience numbers.

Did you read the article? This is explicitly about revenue streams and choices.

Did you read my post? It was explicitly about giving music away for free. That’s a choice that can increase revenue streams on live gigs.