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MPG backs indies in YouTube stand off

By | Published on Monday 23 June 2014


As the stand off between YouTube and the indie labels continues, the UK music producer community gave its backing to the independent record companies on Friday, with the Music Producers Guild criticising the Google-owned subsidiary’s negotiating tactics as it tries to put its Spotify-competing audio streaming service live.

A spokesman for the trade group said late last week: “With regards to the recent dispute between YouTube and independent labels and the unfavourable terms which YouTube seeks, without negotiation, to impose upon independent record labels, the Music Producers Guild is deeply concerned about Google’s apparent abuse of its monopoly and associated market power and the adverse effect this will have on the wider industry and funds available for innovative and creative content production in the future”.

“Independent record producers everywhere, in common with recording artists, rely upon the income from sales and streaming of music files, the production of which they have been responsible for, often with little or no credit (itself ironic in this digital age). Attempts by international media conglomerates to throttle negotiation and impose unfavourable and unjust terms upon independent record companies, whom they perceive to be ‘small fry’ and thus ‘fair game’, should be opposed at every opportunity”.

Pan-European indie label trade body IMPALA has already reported Google to the European Commission for its negotiating tactics regarding the YouTube streaming service, and its threat to block the indies from the existing YouTube video platform if they don’t sign up to the new audio service. But YouTube told the Financial Times last week that it nevertheless expected those indies not signed up to the new offering to be ‘blocked’ from its video platform in some way in the near future.