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YOUTUBE AIMS TO HELP INDEPENDENT ARTISTS BY LAUNCHING MUSIC LABEL

YOUTUBE AIMS TO HELP INDEPENDENT ARTISTS BY LAUNCHING MUSIC LABEL

It was reported last year that YouTube will block independent music labels that wouldn't sign up for their new services. Now it seems that the streaming company is building their own label.
Source: New York Post
YouTube’s ambitious initiative to grow its influence in the music business — and lessen the power of record labels at the same time — is about to meet its first big test.
The initiative, called YouTube for Artists, includes providing direct marketing intelligence to artists that will help them better connect with their fans, according to both the plan and interviews with industry insiders who have heard the pitch.
As part of the effort, revealed in March, YouTube will offer “promotional programs to help” fledgling artists “get discovered and grow.” The video streamer’s effort in the music industry also includes the YouTube Music Awards.
Google’s global video streaming giant wants to get behind artists by providing them with a vast amount of analytical data — culled from who is streaming their YouTube videos — to help them figure out where their most ardent fans are located and which venues could host the wannabe superstars, YouTube said in its pitch, the sources added.
The huge initiative from the video streamer could cut music labels out of a huge piece of their business, insiders said.
For example, YouTube is telling artists that the data it is willing to share can “help you get a song added to radio by showing a programmer how big your local fan base is.” That’s a job artists used to lean on record labels for.
Record company executives sniff at the YouTube effort.
“Labels are investing billions every year — it’s risk money on unproven talent,” one executive said. “Applying global marketing and artist development expertise can’t be replaced by algorithms and data scientists.
YouTube is expected to talk about its music effort during a panel discussion on Saturday at Midem, a music festival and conference in Cannes, France — amid a throng of music label executives, sources said. Executives at the Google unit said no announcement regarding YouTube for Artists will be made at the conference.
YouTube revealed additional pieces of the launch on its blog on Wednesday.
“Knowledge is power; the more information you have in your hands, the easier it is to bring your music to the people who love it the most,” wrote Michael Cumberbatch, the product manager for YouTube for Artists.
At the same time, YouTube has been giving a select group of folks a heads-up on the project, sources tell The Post.
“We’re going to disrupt the music labels,” YouTube executives said during these briefings, sources said.
YouTube is spending big at the French event, hosting events where plenty of label executives are slated to attend.
YouTube’s power is evident.
It helped make stars out of a such unlikely artists as Psy and violin player Lindsey Stirling.
The YouTube for Artists project is being managed by TJay Fowler, a former Beats Music product-management executive, sources said.
The offerings from YouTube for Artists include:
  • Analytics showing the biggest concentrations of fans across the world to help plan tour dates.
  • Fan funding buttons for bands to gain the money they need to produce music and videos.
  • Help locating fans’ concert videos and use of artists’ music in user-generated content.
Even before the controversial initiative is announced, the relationship between the labels and YouTube has become increasingly rocky.
The labels are debating the effect of so many tech players — like Spotify, Pandora and YouTube — offering such rich ad-supported music platforms for free to customers in the face of declining download sales.
YouTube, which is yet to turn a profit despite banking $4 billion in revenue in 2014, according to a February Wall Street Journal story, is under pressure to start producing profits as rivals, including Facebook, move into the business.
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