To bring you up to speed, Google has changed the recent monetization policies on YouTube in efforts to grow as a competing streaming platform with the hopes to further the income for the industry. As of right now Youtube currently holds contracts with the most of the major labels and for each view they get a certain percentage of the revenue. They also hold a very similar contract with the WIN (Worldwide Independent Network). Currently, Google and WIN have not been able to come to a "win win" agreement, no pun intended. In plain english, Google has offered a really lousy rate per view to the WIN and the WIN is justifiably not happy. According to independent associations, Google/YouTube expressed that unless the right-holders give up a license, said videos without licenses agreeing to the lousy terms will be removed (not including VEVO). Now just how lousy are we talking? I would imagine the current rates per view look like, lets say, .0050 cents. The new rates for independent labels would look more like .0030 cent.
Now, lets get to the first questions that come to mind as an independent artist with or without a label.
1. I am in indie artist with videos on YouTube for monetization, Does this affect me directly?
Directly? It really depends. In this case, it is quite possible to see a decline in revenue % in the near future. Lets say a popular Youtube music personality that gets 100,000 views a video gets a pay cut from .0015 cent per view down to .0007. In actual dollars we are talking about going from $150.00 to $80.00 decrease per 100K views. Once again, don't quote me on that for %100 accuracy but we are somewhere in that zone. So yeah, If you are making money off of your YouTube videos, as an independent artist this agreement could really put a dent in your expected income from YouTube in the future. If your'e not making money from your videos, then I believe you still have some time before we see the full affect i.e. increase in difficulty to have your videos published leading to a decline in users/viewers.
2. I am an artist on an independant record label with videos on Youtube, does this hurt me?
Very possibly. If in fact they are threatening to take down all videos of rights-holders who fail to comply with the new agreement terms and your record label is one of these labels, then yes. Your videos could be removed all together without a liscence agreeing to the terms. As I mentioned earlier, if you and your label are counting on Youtube for more than exposure, than this could hurt you.
3. I only use Vimeo to promote my music, am I safe?
Yes. Vimeo is and hopefully will continue to be a safe place for independent artists to rise and conquer. Although Vimeo does not currently offer any other revenue structure besides "Vimeo On Demand" I do not believe they currently have any plans to become a music streaming service.
So, even if this whole post is months early, or say none of this ever happens and videos don't get deleted and revenue stays the same. Independent artists are the backbone of the music industry. Period.
Why Adele's Music Video's Could Dissapear From Youtube This Week: http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2014-06-17/why-adele-videos-could-disappear-from-youtube-this-week
Google May Kick Indie Musicians Off YouTube: http://www.cbsnews.com/news/google-in-countdown-to-kick-indie-musicians-off-youtube/
YouTube Is About To Delete Independent Artists From Its Site: http://www.forbes.com/sites/hughmcintyre/2014/06/18/youtube-is-about-to-delete-independent-artists-from-its-site/
How YouTube's Misguided War Against Indie Could Backfire: http://qz.com/223171/how-youtubes-misguided-war-against-indie-music-could-backfire/
Image Cred: rgbstock.com / Zach Ford
About the author// Zach Ford is a recording/performing artist with his wife Kristy in their band Young Ford and a writer for AmericaXL. You can listen to their music here: