Google
 

Aardvark Daily

New Zealand's longest-running online daily news and commentary publication, now in its 19th year. The opinion pieces presented here are not purported to be fact but reasonable effort is made to ensure accuracy.

Content copyright © 1995 - 2014 to Bruce Simpson (aka Aardvark), the logo was kindly created for Aardvark Daily by the folks at aardvark.co.uk



Please visit the sponsor!
Please visit the sponsor!

Youtube to turn off free music?

20 August 2014

One of the best aspects of YouTube has been the ready availability of a massive range of music videos, all of which can be accessed for free.

Whilst a growing percentage of these music videos are uploaded by the copyright owners, the vast majority has been uploaded by fans, often in breach of the terms and conditions of YouTube's terms of service.

In most cases, and by way of agreements forged with many of the major music labels, YouTube simply throws ads on those vids and the revenue from that source is shared with the studios concerned.

Everybody wins.

However, there is change in the wind and it could mean that massive chunks of YouTube's most popular content suddenly disappears from view -- unless you're prepared to stump up a monthly stipend to become a "subscriber".

The YouTube Music Key service will offer ad-free video streaming of more than 20 million songs to those who are willing to pay US$10 a month for the privilege.

Although some details have been revealed, it remains unclear exactly what the launch of this service may mean to regular non-subscribers.

Given the ease with which music videos, or just the audio component thereof, can be downloaded and stored locally on your computer, phone or media player, YouTube is going to have to implement some major technical changes if it's going to convince folk to pay for what is currently available for free.

YouTube will also have to remember that they're going to be positioning themselves in a head-to-head battle with some of the already very successful subscription-based streaming and download services (such as Spotify and Rdio). Whilst its enormous collection of music material may be well patronised right now, there are no guarantees that this level of success would translate into subscription revenues.

The really worrying thing must be whether this service will eventually be extended to cover all YouTube's content, not just music videos.

The existing advertising on many videos is the lifeblood of a growing legion of YouTube VLogers and content producers, many of who might be significantly impacted if their content was thrown behind a paywall of the type suggested or littered with extra low-value advertising.

Of course it is most likely that existing non-music video material will still be available to non-subscribers but despite the "do no evil" faux-mantra of Google, I would expect that an extra "inconvenience factor" would be added to the "free" level of access so as to encourage a switch to the subscription service.

Google is also encountering a great deal of resistance from some of those creating music for YouTube. Under the new scheme, YT seems to be demanding that all the music uploaders make content available for both the ad-funded and subscription services. There are some who simply want to post their tunes without engagement with the subscription service but Google says they have to or they won't receive any money at all.

I love it when big names in the industry start clashing with those who provide or consume their content because it means that windows of opportunity start opening for new players. Agile, fast, hungry new enterprises can swoop in and, in the blink of an eye, completely change the face of the market by delivering services that are a better match for the demands of all parties and the sheer size of the incumbent often means they're unable to react quickly enough to avoid being roundly trounced.

Will this happen in the case of YouTube and its plans to create a one-stop music download and streaming service?

Only time will tell -- but eventually all companies get too big for their boots and start believing they are able to dictate to the market rather than respond to its demands.

Will you be paying US$10 a month to sign up to a service that delivers nothing more than you can already get for free (albeit by breaking the TOS of the YouTube site)?

Please visit the sponsor!
Please visit the sponsor!

Have your say in the Aardvark Forums.

PERMALINK to this column


Rank This Aardvark Page

 

Change Font

Sci-Tech headlines

 


Apart from the kind support of the sponsor, Aardvark Daily is largely a labour of love that involves many hours of hard work each month. If you appreciate the content you find here (or even if you don't) then please visit the sponsor and also feel free to gift me a donation using the button above.

Remember, this is purely a gift, you'll get nothing other than a warm fuzzy feeling in return.


Features:

Beware The Alternative Energy Scammers

The Great "Run Your Car On Water" Scam

 

The Missile Man The Missile Man book

Previous Columns

Say goodbye to lead
Lead has been one of the most widely used elements for hundreds of years...

Smartwatches - we're still waiting
A little while back the internet was abuzz with talk of smartwatches...

Political Friday: Key okays hacking?
I could not believe my eyes this morning when I read a quote from John Key in the NZH...

Amazon, just 12 years behind the ANZ
Online retail is big... very, very big!...

Beware the Internet of Things?
One of the new hot-topics in the online world is discussion of "the internet of things"...

The iron fist of censorship
On the wires last week was news that an individual in the UK had been arrested for running a proxy-server that allowed Brits to bypass blocks placed on certain sites unlawfully containing copyrighted material...

The MJP Dodo prepares to float
Stories in Australian and NZ newspapers over the weekend announced that Martin Aircraft are (finally) about to float their company on the stock exchanges of both countries...

Google kills egalitarianism on the web
Google has decided to change the way it ranks websites...

EVs and solar power to kill power companies?
I read an interesting article last night in which it was suggested that the combination of ever-improving high-capacity batteries and cheaper, more efficient solar generation could very soon pose a threat to traditional power generation companies...

Dairy dives, tech to the rescue?
Prices for dairy exports have dived by over 40% since February...