Will YouTube Have To Change To Suit The Needs Of The Music Industry?


After reading Mark Mulligan’s blog post about how YouTube should change to be more like a radio station, it makes me wonder, is that easier said than done?

Claiming that YouTube is a key platform of music discovery for the modern generation, in the same way that our parents and grandparents used the radio to discover new music. The difference being there is more freedom with YouTube to choose what you want to listen to. I completely agree, at college I would have a YouTube channel on in the background as I’d do my work and I found it to be a great way to learn about new bands in my specific niche, though I find it just as easy to do that with Spotify radio too.

Mulligan feels that YouTube shouldn’t allow music videos to be free on demand. Again I agree to some extent, people have access to so much music for free on YouTube that they take for granted, I certainly do, and there are people I know that would search YouTube all day just looking at videos wasting their day away.

On a practical level taking away this free option of free music would cause a massive uproar and I think it would have damaging effects on musicians lower down on the totem pole of the industry, or should I say the alternative niches that don’t get a lot of mainstream view compared to your Ed Sheerans and Taylor Swifts

I feel that removing a free-tier to YouTube music only benefits the acts that are already well established, and if they or their label doesn’t think it is fair their music is available on YouTube for free then they need to deal with it without affecting less established acts. An Ideal world would be that only some channels charge and others are free to view, Like a Sky TV package, some channels you don’t have to pay extra for, some you have to pay an added monthly premium. Or better yet as Mulligan mentioned, have a PAYG system.

Though if YouTube went this way with music, what about other content? there are whole films available, documentaries, DVD footage, football highlights, content that isn’t exactly sanctioned officially but it is still up there, If labels and bands in the music industry start charging, do film and TV studios start too? I definitely see that if the music industry starts to clamp down on YouTube, a chain reaction will follow within of areas of the media.

You can find Mulligans post here