Local musicians concerned about new YouTube service - WKRN News 2

Local musicians concerned about new YouTube service

Posted: Updated: Jun 19, 2014 12:03 AM
Courtesy: ABC News Courtesy: ABC News
J.R. Willis is concerned about the changes to YouTube and what they mean for him. J.R. Willis is concerned about the changes to YouTube and what they mean for him.

A change from YouTube has some local musicians concerned. The site acknowledged the launch of a new subscription music service Tuesday after being dragged into a public dispute over royalties that will result in the blockade of some independent artists' music videos.

While hundreds of major labels signed on, some independent labels have not and those videos could be blocked on the site, even on the free version.

Although all the details have not been released yet, the situation has caught the attention of local musicians.

J.R. Willis is a musician who plays on lower Broadway a minimum of five nights a week.

He said he plays the banjo in downtown Nashville for exposure but he also relies on YouTube as a way to get noticed. The site's new service could change that.

"No more fantasy about getting discovered on YouTube,” Willis said. “It sounds like a big commercial type thing."

He told News 2 this could impact his music.

“I won’t be able to tell someone, ‘Well, you could just go on YouTube and see a ton of videos that I got on there,’” explained Willis.

Other musicians like, Jake Maurer of The Jake Maurer Project, are also wondering what this means for them.

“I have a lot of stuff on YouTube. It’s an easy way to get your stuff out there,” said Maurer.

He regularly performs at Tootsie’s and enjoys the extra exposure on YouTube.

“It would be one major avenue that would be gone for us to get our music out there,” he said.

The move also adds pressure to independent labels to sign, since not being on YouTube will result in less advertising revenue and exposure.

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