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YouTube to block unsigned labels in paid music streaming service

Google’s streamer to bar indie artists that don’t agree to ‘highly unfavourable, non-negotiable’ terms

Entertainment, Web, E-commerce, Google Incorporated

Google-owned YouTube is to launch an ad-free streaming music service, but will block content from independent artists who opt not to sign up to the new offering, according to a report from the Financial Times.

"Our goal is to continue making YouTube an amazing music experience, both as a global platform for fans and artists to connect, and as a revenue source for the music industry," a YouTube spokesman told The Verge.

"We're adding subscription-based features for music on YouTube with this in mind - to bring our music partners new revenue streams in addition to the hundreds of millions of dollars YouTube already generates for them each year. We are excited that hundreds of major and independent labels are already partnering with us."

The Worldwide Independent Music Industry Network last month issued a statement saying YouTube's terms were "highly unfavourable, and non-negotiable". The Guardian speculated that high-profile artists that may disappear from YouTube include Jack White, Adele, and Arctic Monkeys.

Reuters reported that YouTube has already signed up 95% of the labels that use the current, ad-supported music video website. The streaming site defended its position on the paid service, claiming that blocking unsigned labels' videos from YouTube's free website might be necessary for reasons of service consistency.