YouTube Changes Could Ban Content From Independent Artists [VIDEO]
Aside from the integration of Google + and the recent influx of pre-roll commercials, YouTube has been a pretty kickass video platform since its inception in 2005. It has served many purposes for many different parties, one of them being a user-friendly and free platform for independent and unsigned artists to get their content in front of people. According to Forbes and several other sources, new changes that will make YouTube a major player in the streaming music game will also keep independent artist on the outside.
Apparently, the folks at Google (owners of YouTube) saw all the profit being made by services like Spotify and Pandora and wanted a piece of that action. So starting in just a few days, they will begin their own service that not only offers ad free video content to subscribers, but also streaming music and even free music downloads. It sounds pretty awesome on the surface, but when you realize who's getting effed in the deal (which does include the consumer) your opinion may change.
YouTube has reached deals with all the major record labels, but didn't offer the independent artists the same deals and are threatening to block their ability to upload content to the service and delete any existing content if they won't play ball... which is a total dick move in my opinion. So indie acts Arctic Monkeys, Radiohead and Jack White are on the chopping block, as is mega-pop songstress Adele. It's still unclear what this means for unsigned artists, but it's possible that this could keep your favorite local rock bands from sharing video content.
This is the latest in a series of maneuvers by corporations to monetize internet services we once enjoyed for free. Remember when Facebook underwent a few unfavorable changes to help boost their earnings when the company went public? That was just the tip of the iceberg. Now that net neutrality is out the window, the door is open for all sorts of nightmarish consequences. I wrote about the potential dangers of net neutrality previously -- click here if you'd like to read them -- but John Oliver really drove the point home in a 13-minute segment on' Last Week Tonight,' which you can watch below.
Many cable companies already have tiered data packaging ready to go for home internet service. Go ahead and look at your account with your service provider now, you may see that they are indeed counting the amount of data you're using and already have a limit set (but it says it is not yet in effect, like mine does below). There may also be a whole section of the site that tells you what will happen and how much it will cost once they set the pending usage cap and you exceed it.
All of this is fairly easy to detach yourself from until you see it reflected in your monthly bill. Only then do you realize that the internet, which was once comparable to an online version of a public park, is slowly turning into a online theme park where you pay $34 for admission and $8 for a bottle of water.