YouTube expected to remove indie labels’ videos ‘within days’

Artists including Arctic Monkeys and Adele could be affected by move

YouTube will reportedly begin removing videos by artists signed to independent labels from its service following a dispute over royalty payments.

The Finanical Times reports that videos by artists signed to labels including XL Recordings (Adele, Jack White) and Domino (Arctic Monkeys, Franz Ferdinand) could be gone “within a matter of days.” The estimated dates come via Robert Kyncl, YouTube’s head of content and business operations.

The main dispute between independent labels and the Google-owned YouTube stems from the company’s plan to launch a subscription-based service and the royalty rates labels will receive. Kyncl claims that “90 per cent of the music industry” has signed up to the new service but a group of influential independent labels, led by trade bodies WIN, AIM and IMPALA, are contesting what they see as an “indefensible” deal. It is reported that the major labels have signed a three-year global licensing deal with YouTube, sharing an advance of around $1 billion (£588m).

YouTube have been accused of “acting like a dinosaur” by Helen Smith, Executive Chair of IMPALA, with YouTube’s threats to take music videos offline seen as a threat to coerce the labels into signing the deal.

However, Kyncl said YouTube’s deal is fair to all involved. “We’re paying them fairly and consistently with the industry,” he claimed.

YouTube’s subscription service is expected to launch later this year.

Spokepeople for XL and Domino both declined to comment.