WMG Pulls Content from YouTube

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter


When Google bought up YouTube for $1.65 billion in 2006, the acquisition came on the heels of Warner Music Group’s deal with the video-sharing site that lent legitimacy to the already impressive upstart and turned it into a cross-promotional powerhouse.

When Google bought up YouTube for $1.65 billion in 2006, the acquisition came on the heels of Warner Music Group’s deal with the video-sharing site that lent legitimacy to the already impressive upstart and turned it into a cross-promotional powerhouse. Other record labels have followed suit since then, but as a result of recently failed talks between WMG execs and YouTube concerning compensation for licensing deals, that house of cards may see an abrupt end sooner than expected.

Under YouTube’s current contract, WMG collects a minimum of one penny or a cut of ad revenue – whichever is greater – every time a user accesses one of their artists’ videos. Far more important, however, is the site’s incalculable publicity when it comes to attracting viewers – a market that has morphed considerably with MTV’s modernization and the advent of the Internet. In other words, the music video has become culturally relevant again thanks in part to YouTube.

Since WMG will be gradually pulling artists’ videos – Madonna, Metallica, Nickelback, Estelle, etc. – YouTube will be losing a bulk of its highest-ranked material. Just last week, the destination for WMG’s subsidiary label Atlantic Records held the site’s no. 9 slot. While those channels are no longer available, unofficial postings of Warner videos are still up and running, and will be systematically removed. Whether or not this will be spread to amateur videos made of live performances of Warner artists is yet to be seen, but as discussion seems to have ceased altogether, prospects seem dim.


4 Comments

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  1. I was very upset recently when my home video that had the Blue Man Group’s “It’s Time to Start” in it was muted by YouTube because WMG claims my video is a copyright infringement. That’s just… harsh. My vdeo was not a music video. Instead, it was just a video of my friends and I having fun. What this tells me is that this whole WMG thing is basically going to affect any kind of video with anything at all that is related to their artists in any way, big or small. Say goodbye to your home videos, frends. WMG is comin’ to get’em.

    >:(

  2. WMG wants $$$. They’re a money hungry failing company and nothing more. They have made some stupid business decisions and I expect they’ll go the way of American auto companies only without a bailout. They gave away Slumdog Millionaire to Searchlight and I’m sure they regret that. Only one of many foolish decisions by the brain surgeons at Warner.

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