YouTube Might Lose 20,000 Music Videos Over Music Key

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“Clap along if you know what happiness is to you … because I’m happy!” Yesterday, Music Key was singing Pharrell’s infectious hit song, “Happy.” Today, not so much …

Music Key, YouTube’s new streaming music service, has made itself a powerful opponent. Such a shame — and just when it thought everything was good to go. Dwarfing Taylor Swift’s abdication of Spotify last week, Irving Azoff, music industry powerhouse and head of music royalties service Global Music Rights, said he is determined to pull his roster of 42 artists from YouTube altogether unless the video company secures enhanced rights (read: more $$$) to the songwriters/performers.

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The musicians represented by Azoff include Pharrell Williams, The Eagles, John Lennon, Chris Cornell and many others, which could certainly put a crimp in YouTube’s plans. Azoff, who once helmed music industry behemoth Live Nation, left to start GMR in a bid to better align the recording industry with its songwriters. As a result of his new position, he controls over 20,000 pieces of copyrighted music — and if YouTube doesn’t pay up, he’ll take his music and go home. Doesn’t it seem like everyone who works on the business side in music is named “Irving”?


Is this greed or just a sensible plan to make sure musicians get properly compensated? Let us know and then share this article to spread the word.