2008 has been a good year for YouTube. There’s been a lot of good things happening to the site, from major partnerships with CNN, adding HD video and trying to find new ways of monetizing the millions of daily hits. It’s a shame that the year has to end on such a sour note for them.
On Saturday, Warner Music forced YouTube to remove all music videos from its artists. The two companies were negotiating a contract, when the talks came to a standstill. Warner Music wanted more revenue from its artists’ music videos, and YouTube presumably wouldn’t budge.
Warner claims that the fraction of cent it got per view for each video, and the small share of ad revenue relating to those songs were “staggeringly low.” It’s possible that Warner Music pulling out could lead to issues with the other labels that have agreements with YouTube: Universal Music, Sony Music, and EMI Music, but that isn’t really clear.
As of right now, the official YouTube Warner Music is still up with 1127 videos on it. It seems like a bad idea for Warner to take the channel down from a consumer stand point, but a big statement on the business side. Granted Warner is a huge label, but I would imagine it would want to give more exposure to its artists, especially the newer or less popular ones, and the easiest way of doing it is through YouTube. I know plenty of people who use YouTube as a means of listening to full songs before buying albums. I would hope they don’t pull everything down, or, at least, let the artists have their own channels if they so want.