YouTube may not block music videos from some indie labels after all: The video service is currently in talks with the labels in question to strike a deal to include their music in its upcoming subscription service, according to a Financial Times report.
The paper had first reported two weeks ago that YouTube was planning to block the videos of five percent of all of its label partners if those labels wouldn’t agree to also make their music available through YouTube’s upcoming subscription service.
Some indie labels have been holding out on striking a deal with YouTube because of what they believe to be unfavorable conditions; YouTube declined to comment further on the current state of the negotiations, according to Thursday’s Financial Times report, but told the paper that it has been offering all labels a fair deal consistent with what other streaming music services have to offer.
Of course, there is a big difference between services like Spotify and YouTube: The Google-owned video service already has a huge audience for free music videos, some of which are making labels money through advertising, and there are also third parties like Vevo distributing ad-supported music videos through YouTube, which would be excempt from any blocking.
Speaking of which: It’s still very much unclear what any blocking measure would actually look like. Some reports over the last two weeks have claimed that indie labels could continue to use YouTube as a promotional platform, but would be blocked from monetizing those videos through advertising.
However, a report from Digital Music News this week suggested that YouTube may actually take down any affected video altogether. A YouTube spokesperson declined to comment on any details of the blocking measure when I asked about this two weeks ago, and Google’s PR department didn’t return a request for comment Thurday.