Musician Zoe Keating Shares Her Struggles With YouTube’s Licensing Contract
Independent musician Zoë Keating recently recounted her struggles with licensing her music on YouTube. The video hosting platform’s five-year contract requires that Keating and other artists’ catalogs be made available both on the site’s free and premium services, the latter being YouTube’s recently launched Music Key.
The agreement also necessitates that signees monetize all of their songs on the site and release new music on YouTube at the same time it’s published on other sites, such as iTunes. If Keating doesn’t sign the contract, her YouTube channel will be blocked.
"I was encouraged to participate and now, after I'm invested, I'm being pressured into something I don't want to do," Keating wrote on her blog.
Previously, Keating was also able to monetize YouTube videos posted by other users that feature her music with the help of YouTube's ContentID. According to Keating, there are 10,000 videos using her music with new ones added every day. Now, artists who don’t sign YouTube’s contract won’t be granted access to ContentID either.
Indie labels had similar difficulty with YouTube, but they were able to agree on more favorable terms after hard-fought negotiations. Individual artists such as Keating will likely not have the same luck.
"It's one thing for individuals to upload all my music for free listening (it doesn't bother me)," Keating continued in her post. "It's another thing entirely for a major corporation to force me to."