YouTube is getting into music streaming, which sounds great, except it’s squeezing out indie artists in the process. The Google-owned giant’s new venture, Music Pass, lets users pay a subscription fee to listen to ad-free videos and download songs. But the new model requires new licensing agreements, and many smaller record labels are refusing to sign. In the process, videos from hundreds of artists (from Adele to Arctic Monkeys to Solange) could vanish.
But that doesn’t mean indie outlets are bowing out of streaming music. Through the Drip.fm platform, labels including Domino, Stones Throw and Sub Pop have all launched subscription services that let fans stream and download albums. Whether bands are booted off YouTube for good or have their videos eventually restored, the labels are ensuring subscription service models will change the way we all listen to music.