Apple iTunes killer? YouTube plans free music videos

“There’s not very much that can shake the power of iPod or iTunes. That is until YouTube co-founder Steve Chen says he wants to have ‘every music video ever created’ on YouTube.com within the next 18 months. Then, anyone that works for Apple is no doubt going to start their morning with a spew of profanity,” Christopher Hogg writes for Digital Journal.

Hogg writes, “EMI, the British music group behind Coldplay and Gorillaz, says it is now in talks with the Web TV giant to host music videos and other content on the popular social networking website.”

“YouTube, which has about 20 million monthly visitors watching more than 100 million videos every day, has confirmed it has held discussions with a number of record labels in a bid to enrich the site with videos. Warner Music Group, the music moniker that was involved in a takeover battle with EMI earlier this year, also says it is in talks with the site,” Hogg writes.

Hogg writes, “If YouTube gets its hands on ‘every’ music video, it marks the beginning and end of music as the world knows it. Without more content changes (please no crappy reality shows) channels like MTV and Canada’s popular MuchMusic are going to have to start taking longer summer vacations.”

Hogg writes, “But this news is a lot bigger than MTV: A free YouTube music video service will end the paid-for content business model and will trip iTunes until it falls flat on its face. Numero uno no more.”

Full article here.
Hogg’s prediction of iTunes’ death is amazingly premature. At what level of quality will the music labels allow these free YouTube music videos’ audio tracks to be encoded? How many songs off the average album even have a video? Those are just two questions that spring immediately to mind. A free YouTube music video service will almost certainly not end the paid-for content business model or “trip iTunes until it falls flat on its face.” Numero uno is much more secure than Hogg seems to understand.

[UPDATED: 9:44am. Changed “three” to “two” for the number of questions that sprang immediately to mind. There was a third, which we considered too obvious and thusly partially edited it out, but here it is now: How many music videos does Hogg think Apple sells anyway?]

Related articles:
YouTube plans to take on Apple’s iTunes with free music videos – August 17, 2006

34 Comments

  1. Free is never totally free. How much ads do they need to cover the cost.
    Do they show comercials with these music video clips?

    That is for sure that music labels do not give these for free.
    Has they ever given anything for free? Somebody pays always.

    MDN magic word: next

  2. Free is never totally free. How much ads do they need to cover the cost.
    Do they show comercials with these music video clips?

    That is for sure that music labels do not give these for free.
    Has they ever given anything for free? Somebody pays always.

    MDN magic word: next

  3. When will people begin to understand that music videos are not what drives iTunes? They are a component certainly but not the core functionality.

    Here’s a more interesting question

    What if ALL video contest ….all TV shows and all movies were on YouTube? At what point does sustainability (not to mention competition for THEM come into play? I predict that Google Video or MSN (oh GAWD not THEM!) will provide a huge competitive site to YouTube until they fall flat on their face. Numero Uno no more.

  4. Free? Who’s paying for these music videos? Perhaps Bill Gates’ charitable donations extend to crafty businesses as well as poor, sick, parentless, and uneducated children. It’s now reported that Bill Gates charity applies to financially strapped newspaper publishing companies. I only wish that I had an “independent news service” to promote my propaganda.

  5. the idea of paying for music videos always struck me as rather dim. The music channels get them for free to get you interested in buying the singles and the albums on which they appear. The labels are happy to give them away.

    Most CD singles include a video track these days, so you get the video *for free* when you buy the single.

    On another note, have you looked at the video content on iTMS lately? I don’t think selling fewer music videos will put the store out of business …

  6. How do the record companies or the artists benefit from giving away their product? Why not offer them free on iTunes as well? Why not free albums too? Am I missing something? And it can’t be that you cannot download the videos from youtube to your computer as this is pretty easy to do.

  7. My 3rd gen iPod was stolen (along with my car) in January and I’ve yet to replace it. However, I have been buying videos as well as ripping music videos I already owned on DVD onto my iMac. I love being able to have a video show going on the screen. That is much different than going through many videos on YouTube one at a time.

  8. Bing bong…
    Is that another death knell for Apple iTunes..

    The quality will certainly be low. Just like the quality of streaming media stinks.
    This is simply not going to be as good as
    people thinks it sounds (ie. ads, low qual)

  9. YouTube…has confirmed it has held discussions with a number of record labels in a bid to enrich the site with videos

    Ok. Now confirm how many times you’ve been laughed right out of those meetings.

    The artists and big labels are not going to give away their videos, and YouTube is goofy if they think they’ll make up the costs with online ads. Anyone remember the dot-com bust??

    Move along people, no news here.

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