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YouTube to unveil video (and music?) plans on Wednesday

YouTube announced that it will be hosting an event this Wednesday in Los Angeles to formally introduce details about its long-rumored paid video service. Google has been slowly moving toward this shift for months, and the event this week could reveal the culmination of its efforts to create both a more lucrative Netflix- or Hulu-style paid subscription and a formal music streaming platform. Continue Reading

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Rumor Fact(ory): Music Key changes and trouble possibly brewing at YouTube

We learned recently that the official YouTube Music Key launch has been postponed, and two new rumors circulating about the popular video platform could provide some insight as to why. First, there has been speculation that YouTube is aiming to make Music Key part of a bigger subscription video service, positioning it as a rival to Netflix and Hulu as well as to music-centric streaming platforms. The second rumor is that music labels may be questioning the current status quo of YouTube’s ad-supported model. Continue Reading

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YouTube CEO offers notes on Music Key, mobile plans

YouTube Music Key has mostly been quiet since the initial excitement over its beta launch last November. The last that we heard of Google’s planned subscription service, the beta had been extended into September. YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki spoke at a Fortune event yesterday and touched on the outlook for Music Key, offering just a little bit of insight on its status. Continue Reading

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Azoff’s PRO pushes YouTube on licensing, may turn to lawsuit

Irving Azoff and his Global Music Rights PRO have intensified their scrutiny of the new YouTube Music Key streaming service. According to a written exchange between lawyers for both sides, Azoff has questioned whether YouTube has the appropriate licenses to be streaming the songs represented by GMR. The group asked for the roughtly 20,000 songs GMR represents to be removed, but YouTube has not complied. Continue Reading

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eMarketer looks at YouTube ad revenue as Music Key steps into ad-free listening

eMarketer released estimates about ad revenue from YouTube — especially interesting as the video platform releases Music Key ad-free listening. eMarketer projects that U.S. video ad revenue alone would increase 39.2% to $1.13 billion. The company expected that the figure would continue to expand in double digit percentages to a possible $1.75 billion in 2016. Continue Reading

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YouTube Music Key already has enemies: Azoff questions service’s songwriter royalty rates

The launch of YouTube Music Key is an exciting development for the streaming music sector, but it the new service already has a very vocal and powerful detractor. Irving Azoff, a music industry veteran and leader of the recent Global Music Rights venture, told The Hollywood Reporter that he is prepared to remove the works by 42 of his clients from YouTube. The threatened move could see about 20,000 copyrighted works taken away from the fledgling service, as well as from the original YouTube video platform. Continue Reading

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YouTube reaches deal with Merlin, paving way for new subscription service

YouTube has reportedly reached an agreement with indie music rights agency Merlin for its subscription music service, according to Financial Times. If the news is confirmed, this would be a major win for the video network. Merlin represents some 20,000 indie labels, and an agreement with that group helps to round out YouTube’s alliances with the top record labels; it already has arrangements with Universal, Sony, and Warner. Continue Reading