Artists must sign non-disparagement agreements with YouTube.
When it comes to streaming your favorite songs online, the most popular platform with consumers is arguably still YouTube, despite the recent rise in popularity for services like Spotify and Apple Music. However, YouTube's relationship with artists has become increasingly fractured over the years, with stars like Tyler, The Creator famously dragging the site for making it more difficult for independent artists to cut through the clutter and get their work noticed. Now, Bloomberg is reporting that the video streaming hub is aiming to mend those fences, but with one giant catch.
According to sources that are close to the situation, YouTube is throwing some money at certain artists (we're talking about hundreds of thousands of dollars) and even offering them promotional space on billboards, all in exchange for painting the site in a more positive light. As per the report, "YouTube has asked musicians to agree not to disparage the streaming-video service in exchange for promotional support," even going so far as to present said artists with paperwork they must sign that guarantees that stance.
"Non-disparagement agreements are common in business," reporter Lucas Shaw writes, "but YouTube’s biggest direct competitors in music don’t require them." It seems like a bold but ultimately insecure move from the video streaming giant, who has come under fire from various musicians around the world for the scant revenue sharing model and porous piracy protection that is in place. Only time will tell if this move will improve YouTube's reputation or place it on even shakier ground.
What do you think? Is this a good idea for YouTube? Let us know in the comments.