YouTube Enforces Paid Streaming

YouTube has wanted to roll out ad-free streaming music services for some time, to compete with other, Internet-based streaming services, and it’s going to begin testing this new service within days. The idea is to charge users to watch, listen to, and download music without ads, and the situation looks bleak for independent artists who don’t like the idea: Google has said that it will take any artists and labels who don’t sign up for the service off of the platform entirely – paid or non-paid, traditional video streaming. It’s a bold play from YouTube, and it’s ostensibly a strong-arm of the music industry, owing to the fact that YouTube is now indispensable to the marketing industry at large. If or when the pushback comes, YouTube’s response, if any, will be telling, and could shape the future of streamed media at large.