Internet giant YouTube which attracts more than 1billion monthly viewers will soon start internal tests of a new subscription service.
The dominant online video platform, which is owned by Google, has confirmed it was dropping content from independent labels if they don’t sign up for its paid streaming service.
Artists such as Adele, Arctic Monkeys and Radiohead could disappear from YouTube within days, if new licenses are not negotiated.
Representatives of independent record labels have accused Google of signing lucrative licensing deals with major labels such as Universal, Warner and Sony, while trying to “strong-arm” independent labels into accepting low fees.
The body which represents the labels, including XL Recordings, 4AD, Cooking Vinyls and Domino, has appealed to the European Commission for backing in its battle against YouTube.
Worldwide Independent Network (WIN) CEO Alison Wenham said: “This is not a fair way to do business. WIN questions any actions by any organisation that would seek to injure and punish innocent labels and musicians — and their innocent fans — in order to pursue its ambitions.”
Google released a statement in response saying: “Our goal is to continue making YouTube an amazing music experience, both as a global platform for fans and artists to connect, and as a revenue source for the music industry.”