YouTube has one of the largest online music communities, but do they take this power responsibly when it comes to supporting the music industry?

The video sharing website has battled with royalty issues over the years, even to the point of temporarily removing music videos after a dispute in 2009. YouTube still often remove user uploaded videos if they don’t hold the rights to the music they are using, but only if requested by the royalty holder – so could their new royalty-free music library finally discourage users to copyright tracks?

Since the introduction of the Internet, the music industry has struggled to harness their profits, often fighting against piracy and copyright issues. Although the move from YouTube seems small, a lot of the copyrighting issues faced by the industry come from them specifically and by encouraging use and creating awareness of royalty free music, it could be a step in the right direction for musicians to gain power back.

The library has 150 tracks for video uploaders to personalise their films with, including classical pieces from Beethoven and Strauss – as well as an array of instrumentals covering every genre, from ambient to rock. Despite what you might assume, the quality of the tracks is surprisingly good, considering they are free downloadable tracks they could be expected to be probably quite cheesy. YouTube seem to have created library of decent music that have the potential to create a professional sounding videos.

Not only this, YouTube are also offering artists an opportunity submit their own tracks to the library, another way for them to embrace their music community and encourage people to listen to unsigned musicians.

If the new library from YouTube is ultimately successful, they could reduce online copyright infringement as well as promoting unknown musicians – a strong move to protect and support the industry that they have benefited so much from themselves.

Written by Maya Kellermann

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