Clown Award: Google
Now for a regular weekly feature, the Clown Award, given for meritorious stupidity.
The winner of the Big Red Nose this week is Google, whose motto "don't be evil" seems evermore internally contradictory.
To be more specific, the target of scorn this week is YouTube, which is owned by Google.
YouTube has become a major source for streaming free music with more than 1 billion visitors per month. I was just listening to a bunch of Phil Ochs recordings just the other day.
Always looking to make a buck for itself and its google-eyed masters, YouTube recently made a pact with major record labels that would create a premium service, available to consumers for a subscription fee, featuring ad-free music.
Last week, a number of indie labels came out against the plan, arguing that the terms of the deal favor major labels at the expense of smaller ones.
In response, YouTube announced that "in a matter of days" it would blacklist artists and record labels that refused to sign on to the agreement. That is, if you didn't agree to join the subscription service, you would be booted off YouTube entirely.
The Music Producers Guild, a membership-based group of industry producers and engineers, lambasting Google's subscription model and the company "abuse of its monopoly and associated market power" as well as the impact it will have on "funds available for innovative and creative content production in the future."
It should be noted that indie labels now hold roughly a third of the music industry's market share.
As of June 23, YouTube had not yet begun removing content owned by labels that did not agree to the ad-free premium deal. Doesn't matter. The fact that you would even consider it marks you and particularly your corporate masters at Google as what we've long suspected Google to be: a money-grubbing, toad-sucking clown.
Sources cited in links: