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This article was published on December 22, 2008

Goodbye Warner Music! A step back in the evolution of YouTube

Goodbye Warner Music! A step back in the evolution of YouTube
Ernst-Jan Pfauth
Story by

Ernst-Jan Pfauth

Ernst-Jan Pfauth is the former Editor in Chief of Internet at NRC Handelsblad, as well as an acclaimed technology author and columnist. He a Ernst-Jan Pfauth is the former Editor in Chief of Internet at NRC Handelsblad, as well as an acclaimed technology author and columnist. He also served as The Next Web’s blog’s first blogger and Editor in Chief, back in 2008. At De Correspondent, Ernst-Jan serves as publisher, fostering the expansion of the platform.

Last August, we celebrated companies like Lionsgate, CBS, Universal Music, and Electronic Arts who realized that people using their products for YouTube videos weren’t pirates, but just fans. Instead of hurting their brands, the mash-ups are boosting the company’s brand experience. Therefore, these major companies have been enrolled in an YouTube advertising program.

Whenever somebody uploads a movie which violates one of these companies’ copyright, YouTube offers them the possibility to view the video stats and to run ads. Yeah! A classic win-win model. Media company profits, user has an outlet for his creativity, and YouTube remains the video platform.

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No more Madonna on YouTube?

Unfortunately, one of the major players lost faith in this construction and abandoned the program. We’re talking about Warner Music, and therefore about superstars like Led Zeppelin, Madonna, TI, Eric Clapton, REM, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and the Grateful Dead. None of them will be able to use YouTube as a platform for their music.

Details are undisclosed, but it sure is a pity. A step back, really. Here’s Warner Music’s explanation:

“We are working actively to find a resolution with YouTube that would enable the return of our artists’ content to the site. [..] Until then, we simply cannot accept terms that fail to appropriately and fairly compensate recording artists, songwriters, labels and publishers for the value they provide.”

Surprisingly enough, Universal Music’s digital chief Rio Caraeff recently raved about how much revenue the YouTube deal generated. He talked in terms of “tens of millions of dollars” and a rise of 80 percent compared to last year. Stories like this one are stimulating, which makes the withdraw of Warner Music even more painful. Let’s just hope it’s part of the negotiations.

[Via Cnet News]