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.