Warner Music pulls out of YouTube after new licensing deal fails

December 23, 2008

News: After several years of licensing its music videos on YouTube, Warner Music has left the negotiating table and YouTube for a renewal of the license. On its blog, YT said: “Sometimes, if we can’t reach acceptable business terms, we must part ways with successful partners. For example, you may notice videos that contain music owned by Warner Music Group being blocked from the site.” Warner said: it “simply cannot accept terms that fail to appropriately and fairly compensate recording artists, songwriters, labels and publishers for the value they provide.”

Cnet says that Warner screwed up: “By all indications, Warner overplayed its hand. YouTube can afford to let Warner walk. The vast majority of music listened to at YouTube comes from the two largest recording companies: Universal and Sony BMG. Universal, the label that represents U2, Kanye West, and The Rolling Stones, is the most-viewed YouTube channel all time with more than 3 billion views. Sony BMG is a distant second with 491 million views.Warner isn’t even in the top 10. The record company’s 278 million views is good enough only for 11th place.”

uTunes: Ingrid Michaelson “The Way I Am” on YouTube

November 2, 2007

I love this singer. Ingrid Michaelson, who is more of a presence on MySpace, is really fantastic — I can’t believe a major label hasn’t signed her yet! What are they waiting for?

Her music has been included in an Old Navy commercial and on Grey’s Anatomy. Her music sells, pretty well, on iTunes. She keeps 2/3 of the $.99 for each download, much more than she would get if under contract with a music label. You can listen to an NPR interview of Ingrid here.

Terra Naomi jams to “You sexy thing”

October 26, 2007

Analysis: Awesome. Just wait until Terra whips out the kazoo! What a hoot! This woman is so talented.

For more about Terra Naomi, here is my interview with her.

Esmee Denters sings Pink on YouTube

October 15, 2007

Did YouTube singer Marie Digby do anything wrong?

September 7, 2007

News:  By now, you’ve probably heard about the brouhaha about YouTube singer Marie Digby who posed as an unknown amateur singer on YouTube, even though she has been an unknown professional singer signed by Disney back in 2005 and had Disney handlers helping her all along the way on YouTube.  The Wall Street Journal broke the story on its front page this week, and I’ve summarized the account here.

Analysis:  Several readers have written in with thoughtful comments explaining why the “deception” involved with Marie Digby’s marketing on YouTube was wrong.  I’ve also read other comments on YouTube and the Internet that are quite critical of Digby and Disney. 

OK, I guess I agree with some of these sentiments.  If YouTube sensation Esmee Denters actually had been a professional (signed) singer from the start on YouTube (even though she appeared to be an amateur posting from her bedroom), I would feel duped.   I haven’t followed Marie Digby or her videos enough to know how strongly she gave the appearance of being just an unknown amateur singer.  But if the WSJ article is accurate, then maybe Digby did cross the line.  (I’ll reserve judgment on how far until I see more of the evidence.)

On the other hand, I don’t necessarily see it a bad thing for music labels like Hollywood Records to try to promote unknown singers on YouTube.  Hollywood Records and Ms. Digby will have to face whatever backlash that comes from their PR stunt on YouTube, so maybe the WSJ did us all a service.  (Personally, I’d buy Ms. Digby’s music if I really liked it when it comes out.)  I do still question whether the whole story deserved front page coverage. 

Vanessa Hudgens new video on YouTube for “Dancing with the Stars”

September 6, 2007

The Esmee Denters of old returns to YouTube

August 29, 2007

Esmee Denters returns back to how it all started, with a simple music video of her singing. I will soon be writing a post about YouTube’s Second Biggest Challenge: finding and keeping talent on its site.

Esmee Denters celebrates 1 year on YouTube

August 25, 2007

News: YouTube sensation Esmee Denters announces a contest, shows a preview of behind-the-scenes video of her rise to stardom, and then performs an original song at the end. UPDATE: Esmee took down the original video with the new song and posted a different video without the new song, but with a souped up version of “Figure It Out.”

Analysis: Happy anniversary, Esmee! It’s been quite a year. Thanks for sharing it with the YouTube community. The best is yet to come.

Video of the week: High School Musical 2 on YouTube

August 24, 2007

“High School Musical 2” debuted this week. If you don’t have kids, you may not be aware that this Disney franchise is a mega-hit, selling more albums in 2006 than any other (even American Idol stars). The debut of the sequel this week received 17 million viewers on Disney, the most ever for a cable show. Wow, now that’s impressive. “High School Musical” stars Zac Efron, Vanessa Hudgens, and Ashley Tisdale. (I finally know who Ashley Tisdale is, ’cause I’ve seen her YouTube videos before.)

I’m more intrigued by the fact that clips from “High School Musical” are some of the most watched clips on YouTube, dating back close to one year. Disney doesn’t seem to mind these postings by third parties on YouTube since they haven’t asked for their removal. It might well be that Disney doesn’t want to alienate all the teenagers and young kids who are posting these videos of “High School Musical” on YouTube out of their sheer fanaticism for the movie.

Terra Naomi is “Not Sorry”

August 22, 2007

Terra Naomi is back with a new single, “Not sorry.”  She also bares her soul again on her blog, seeming somewhat fed up with some emails she has received.  This is a cool song, but isn’t the lighting on the video kind of dim?

New YouTube hit: “Chocolate Rain” by Tay Zonday

August 21, 2007

Over 6 million views already.  More.

Mia Rose new song ‘Better Off” on YouTube

July 22, 2007

New Taylor Swift song “Fearless” on YouTube

July 20, 2007

Taylor Swift is only 17, but she’s already had a Platinum album.  Her two most famous songs are “Tim McGraw” and “Picture to Burn.”  Here’s a new song that debuted on YouTube.

Off topic, but check out this restaurant review:

Terra Naomi – Cisco/Rolling Stone interview

July 1, 2007

News: Terra Naomi, the first musician to be discovered on YouTube, had an interview with Cisco as a part of its “Human Network” feature. You can see the video on Cisco. I’m not sure if a text copy is available on Rolling Stone. Terra also performed “Close to Your Head” for the interview, see below. The song is one of my favorites.

Terra Naomi, “Close to Your Head”

Esmee Denters update: 14 days, over 4 million views

June 18, 2007

NewsEsmee Denters’ video with Justin Timberlake, “What Goes Around,” just went over 4 million views in 14 days.  That’s a torrid pace.  That’s even 1 million more than Justin’s own video version with Scarlett Johansson.


uTunes: Secondhand Serenade visits YouTube

June 14, 2007

One man band, John Vesely.

YouTube takes down popular Smosh Pokemon video

June 14, 2007

News: YouTube has removed Smosh’s mega-popular “Pokemon” video after receiving a copyright DMCA notice from Shogakukan Production Co. Ltd. The Pokemon video was the 4th most watched video ever on YouTube, with over 24 million views. To my knowledge, this is the most popular video ever removed by YouTube under a DMCA notice. By the way, if you don’t know who “Smosh” is, it’s a pair of 20-year-olds Anthony Padilla and Ian Hecox. They are the No. 1 Most Subcribed Director on YouTube, and they have the Most Views All-Time on YouTube of any amateur or user-generated content. Smosh, in other words, is the top of the heap at YouTube.

Analysis: This is a close, perhaps questionable, call. The Smosh boys did use the “Pokemon” theme song for their video, but they seemed to me to be parodying the whole Pokemon character, with a pretty over-the-top lip synch and use of Pokemon stuffed animals.

A parody fair use is permitted under copyright law, the only question is whether too much of the copyrighted work is taken. Unfortunately, that question is determined on a case-by-case basis. And, in this case, YouTube appears not willing to risk falling outside the DMCA safe harbor, so it chose to follow the more expedient path under the DMCA of taking down the video.

If you want to see if the video should be considered a parody fair use, I believe a version is still up on Veoh and probably elsewhere on the Internet.

So who’s on YouTube: The Cranberries

June 14, 2007

Zombie. You gotta love the 90s!

So who’s on YouTube: The Police

June 14, 2007

Don’t Stand So Close to Me. You gotta love the 80s!

So who’s on YouTube?: Bon Jovi

June 14, 2007

Make a Memory.

Esmee Denters update: 9 days, over 3 million views

June 8, 2007

News: Esmee Denters’ video with Justin Timberlake singing “What Goes Around” just went over the 3 million mark in 9 days. You can see the video here. I wonder how long it can continue to generate more viewers at this torrid pace. You probably would guess not too much longer.

It’s official: Esmee Denters signs with Justin Timberlake’s new label, Tennman Records

June 5, 2007

News: Esmee Denters signed with Justin Timberlake’s new label, Tennman Records, and will perform as his opening act. So I predicted this last week, but it was pretty obvious from what happened. For more on Esmee, visit here. Below is the press release (I’m not sure why it goes out of the way to say it was “completely unpredicted news” because it really wasn’t—or am I just missing the irony, wink, wink):

Los Angeles, CA … Internet phenomenon and singer/songwriter Esmee Denters is the first signing to Tennman Records. “In completely unpredicted news to all YouTubers and bloggers, we are proud to announce Esmee Denters has signed to Tennman Records and she will be joining me on tour this summer. Esmee is the real deal and I cannot wait for the world to hear her, but all of her fans on YouTube should not worry…we will keep you in the loop every step of the way,” announced today by Justin Timberlake, Chairman/CEO of the label.

“Words can’t describe how amazing it is. I am so excited! It is something I have always dreamed of doing. I have to thank YouTube and its viewers for giving me the opportunity to show the world my voice. I also have to thank Justin, one of the biggest artists in the world, for believing in me and making my dreams come true,” says Esmee Denters.

Ken Komisar, President of Tennman Records, adds “Esmee is a remarkable talent with a story that anyone with a dream can relate to – it is no wonder she has such an enthusiastic following already. We will keep providing fans with a personal look into Esmee’s world throughout the entire creative process, as she continues to write songs for her debut album.”

Esmee Denters first began to gain awareness by posting cover performances of Beyonce, Alanis Morrisette and Alicia Keys on her YouTube page. 18 year-old Esmee Denters hails from Oosterbeek, Holland, where she has had 21 million views on her YouTube site since she posted her first performance less than 9 months ago. In addition, to being on tour (see tour dates below) this summer, she is currently writing/recording on her debut album which is slated for release later this year.

Esmee Denters Opening For Justin Timberlake – Tour Dates:

June 16 / Arena / Amsterdam, Holland
June 19 / Gloave / Stockholm, Sweden
June 21 / Valhalle / Oslo, Norway
June 23 / Parken / Copenhagen, Denmark
June 25 / Scandanavian / Gothenberg, Sweden
June 27 / Sports Palais / Antwerp, Belgium
For the latest on Esmee Denters please visit www.esmeeworld.com or www.youtube.com/esmeedenters.

For more information on Tennman Records please visit www.tennmanrecords.com.

For further information on Esmee Denters please contact Hillary Siskind @ Hillary.Siskind@umusic.com and Neil Jacobson (International Press Only) Neil.Jacobson@umusic.com.

Esmee Denters video goes over 2 million views on YouTube

June 5, 2007

News: Esmee Denters’ video with Justin Timberlake just went well over 2 million views, amazingly in just 1 week. That’s pretty quick. For more about Esmee, visit here.

Esmee on YouTube


Esmee Denters update

May 29, 2007

News: After 24 hours, the Esmee Denters-Justin Timberlake video on YouTube has hit the following marks (at around 2 pm):

1st Top Favorited video (today)

3rd Most viewed (recently) – 102,685 views in 24 hours

2nd Most Top Rated (today) – 1,550 ratings near 4 1/2 stars

2nd Most Discussed (today) – 1537 comments

UPDATE 2 (at 8 p.m.)

1st Top Favorited video (today)

3rd Most viewed (recently) – 221,557 views in a little over 1 day

3nd Most Top Rated (today) – 2,176 ratings near 4 1/2 stars

1st Most Discussed (today) – 2227 comments

2nd Most Linked (today) – 68,409 links

Esmee Denters performs with Justin Timberlake on YouTube: “What Goes Around”

May 28, 2007

Unbelievable. I hate to ruin the feeling of shock and amazement I had when first watching this video, but Justin Timberlake is playing piano and singing background for Esmee Denters. She really gets revved up with one minute left in the video. Justin says at the end, “She sings my own song better than me.” I agree. That was so unbelievably, mind-blowingly cool. I love it! Let’s see how long it takes for this video to get a million views.



Terra Naomi’s “Say It’s Possible,” new version 3.0 now on YouTube

May 5, 2007

I can’t wait to see this song hit No. 1 on the charts when it’s officially released.

Terra Naomi before she was discovered (minidocumentary, Episode 2)

May 1, 2007

This video shows how hard it is for musicians, even those with incredible amounts of talent, to be discovered today. Thank heavens for YouTube in discovering the talent in this video.

Terra Naomi, mini-documentary, Episode 1

April 24, 2007

Nice to see talent, discovered.

Terra Naomi back on YouTube, with a vengeance

April 10, 2007

Terra Naomi jokes around about not letting her stardom get to her head. She also has posted her new song “In the Summertime” and invites you to make her 3rd version of her video of “Say It’s Possible.”

U2 video: I still haven’t found what I’m looking for

February 18, 2007