No More Music Videos on YouTube?

YouTube has voluntarily started removing the Warner Music Group catalog, stemming from a license contract re-negotiation dispute with the partner. Content is beginning to come off of the site, but taking down a major catalog has proven to be a time consuming process; many videos are still available as of this post. Allegedly, Warner Music Group decided to change the terms in the middle of negotiations that were nearly completed. As a result, Google stated they have voluntarily begun the content removal. Warner Music Group stated that because of inadequate compensation, the content will have to be removed. Who really made the decision is still up for debate.

Music videos are very popular on YouTube – they are the highest viewed content on the site. The problem for Google is they are required to pay for the content each time someone views it, regardless if that content is generating revenue or not. The license Warner granted to YouTube was made in 2006, before Google’s acquisition of the popular site. One could speculate that the monetary terms of the contract were not what Warner had in mind. One could also speculate that if Google is losing money over the content, it’s highly doubtful that they would be willing to offer MORE money to continue their agreement. After all, why throw your hard earned money into the fireplace?

Will Warner’s content return? That remains to be seen. Important to note is all four of YouTube’s music label contracts – Warner Music Group, Sony BMG, EMI and Universal Music Group – are all about to expire in March 2009. Google is currently in negotiations with all of them, and because of the implications they will have on the 2nd largest search engine on the Internet, this is something to pay close attention to. If any of these contracts fail, not only will it have a major affect on what is currently viewed, it will also affect how user-created content will be available as well. No more mom-and-baby dancing to popular songs. No more lip-sync with the hairbrush in the bathroom mirror. Similar to the removal of Project Playlist from MySpace and the blocking of all its widgets, YouTube will start blocking your videos if they contain any copyright-protected music. This is said to begin immediately with anything belonging to Warner Music Group.

What type of videos do YOU watch on YouTube? Certainly you watch my videos made through, but are you a music video connoisseur as well? What kind of an impact do you think this will make to the YouTube community?

28 thoughts on “No More Music Videos on YouTube?”

  1. I tend to use youtube to find new music but also to listen to music I have not heard in a while. Often I already own it on CD or DVD or some such. I have made purchasing desisions based on youtube vids and discovered artists I did not know about before.

    I think any group that remove their video’s from you tube will be shooting themselves in terms of rate of sales and general traction.

  2. music videos don’t matter. they all seem to be available here: . but if they really are going to start enforcing people having any sort of copy written music in their videos, there will only be about 15 videos left on youtube.

  3. @Rohan What’s not fair? They are trying to protect their bottom line and are trying to make a quick buck by raising their content prices. Why are unpaying YouTube visitors entitled to anything? While I don’t love the big media companies either, they aren’t required to provide their content in order to be “fair.”

  4. This is the worst thing I’ve ever heard of. The music creates a large amount of entertainment on this site, and I for one will be severly dissapointed as music and tech are my two favourite videos. Something must be done. Any ideas?

  5. Well, YouTube IS like a land of endless copyright infringements. Removing Warner Music Group’s stuff is pretty much what YouTube would have done anyway.

  6. So, Warner is throwing away one of their biggest marketing engines?.. oh, and lol on them, they were getting paid for using it as a marketing engine????

    “Doyyyyeeee” (what we would have said as teenagers,) “YouTube has been paying you for the site getting you more business???”

    I don’t go to the WB site, because its crappy, hard to search and installs a crapload of spyware on my computer. I watch the “WB” content on YouTube because it’s, fast, user-friendly and easy to search, which induces me to go purchase the DVD (i.e. Narnia, Prince Caspian).

    I guess now that they are taking YouTube as a marketing site away, they’d better figure out a different way to get those ads to my wife & my 5 kids, cuz Internet & YouTube is the primary way we see them?

  7. If Youtube is stupid enough to let this happened they’ll fade out of existence… wtg letting the media industry destroy everything that works on the internet and replace it with DRM infested sh*t

  8. Mine as well enjoy my iPhone music video web mashup while it lasts.

    at least perhaps all the amateur videos will stay around. As it can be fun watching folks riffing on guitar or drums to mimic my favorite music.

  9. YouTube is the only place to watch music videos since vh1 and MTV hardly ever play them. Having said that, I almost never watch music videos.

  10. Very interesting post. My sister is one who listens to music via youtube’s music videos, and this will be a wake up call for her to stop doing that.As for me, I love Rhapsody! :D

  11. I think this hurts Warner more than anything. If there is a no tolerance, no copyrighted music rule that is enforced, and we stop seeing these, “mom-and-baby dancing to popular songs” videos, (or we see them and then the next day they are taken down) I think that this will make people hate Warner.

    Ultimately, if everyone hates Warner, everyone will turn their back on Warner and nobody will buy anything from Warner.

    I think Warner should have struck a deal with youtube, where the videos stay, but the audio is distorted enough to where you can listen and enjoy, but It’s not something you would want on your MP3 player or something you’d want to listen to over and over, because of the low quality. A link could be put in the description of each video containing warner copyrighted music to the place where you can buy the high quality MP3 or CD. Without the music on youtube, warner is losing a lot of advertising.

  12. I have a question… Did MTv have to pay for these videos when they were new? Or did Warner put them on MTv for promotion?

    I have a hard time thinking MTv paid since they were a new, unproven idea. If they did, then I guess this is the same thing.

    But if Warner gets lots of free promotion from this, what are they doing?

    I think they see the deep Google pockets and want to get some of it. And their willing to give up the upside of free promotion to get it.

    I see it as more from a record industry that STILL doesn’t have a friggin clue what’s going on.


  13. Warner are being idiots. (Golly what a surprise.)

    That stuff boosts the popularity of the music. That’s why music videos exist to begin with; they’re promotional material. For a long time it wasn’t even possible to buy them, and that is still the case with a lot of them (maybe even most). All of this is on top of the rotten quality of the average YouTube video.

    They’re not losing anything from it being on YouTube.

  14. I use YouTube to watch mostly entertainment videos and informative videos, such as your lockergnome videos. Basically, whatever I find interesting. I do use YouTube to watch music videos. It’s usually my first source when I’m looking for one because if there’s a music video out there, most of the time, it’s on YouTube. Of course, it might be taken down eventually but there’s always a copy floating around somewhere on YouTube.

  15. I agree this is only going to hurt Warner, I personally don’t much care for their music (they don’t seem to pick up any of the artists I like, not that I care), but it’s a downward slope. Being able to mash content together in this age of social media is important, and it benefits both the community *AND* the holders of copyrighted material, because they get free advertising.

    I’m really sad that Warner can’t see the future of our culture, because in reality it’s only starting. I can only hope the Creative Commons and Free Culture guys end up influencing the big record and movie companies, because sharing what you love with friends has become a big part of our society, and it has an unlimited marketing potential as well.

  16. As a consumer, I prefer to get the full-sensory assault that YouTube provides. And, since it’s free, I don’t need to pay for it. Great isn’t it ?

    But from the artists perspective, why is it that they have to provide their work to us for free?

    Does anyone else work for free ?

    If doctors worked for free because it was ethically appropriate, who would want to be a doctor ?


  17. You know it really annoys me at the length that the RIAA, and record companies are going to as far as use of music.

    Every time I have used questionable material, I think to myself. “Is the music high enough quality, and is it enough of a song for some one to want to even attempt ripping the music off the video?” Every time, I say no. Seriously if some one wants music they will go to any number of other places to get it, if its “revenue” they are worried about. Im not a partner, and theres no ads on most of my videos. Who is profiting there? No one.

    So I say they need to rethink how far they limit creativity.

    Creative Commons is the wave of the future, they better get on board, or lose there cash flow. Thats where its going to go.

  18. that would suck, and greatly decrease the value of youtube. music is incorporated in what, 70% of its content? this would just be a bad move, and totally ruin youtube’s appeal.

  19. For a while now.Should i say years,things been changing on the internet.Is they out to bring down the internet or use greed to make more money?But i do know,they taking away the fun.We users thats been around a few years can see this.Hard enough fighting security issues and paying the cost to even be on the internet.Now they removing contents.Now how many people goes out and buy a video?We’ll buy a music cd and a movie.But not many buy videos.By us viewing them online we more inclined to buy a music cd or a movie.I say leave the videos alone,let us have our fun.We sure pay enough.

  20. This really annoys me. Most of the bands I like would NEVER be played on TV where I live, and thanks to youtube I’ve found most of my favourite bands..
    And if this includes AMVS..=[ =[

  21. I really appreciate the answers and the video to my questions. They were very insightful and informative. Basically, it’s exactly what I was looking for! Thanks Chris! I plan to add the video and responses in my blog.

  22. Unbelievable that you can’t even put some background music to some family videos.  How is that any different from playing music at a party in your own house?

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