YouTube’s Content ID technology lets a musician take a cut of the advertising that runs on videos using their music, which is great for the Zoë Keatings of the world.
I got started with Content ID a couple of years ago when someone from Youtube reached out to me and I was offered a content management account to “claim” the soundtracks of these videos. The videos are dance performances, documentaries, amateur films, slideshows, animations, art projects, soundtracks to people doing things like skiing, miming, calligraphy or just playing video games. I love the variety of them all. Who knew there could be so many different ways to dance to my music?
Unfortunately this arrangement is changing as YouTube reconfigures itself to become a Spotify competitor. One of the requirements of the new service stipulates that Keating must post her entire catalog to participate.
Is such control too much for an artist to ask for in 2015? It’s one thing for individuals to upload all my music for free listening (it doesn’t bother me). It’s another thing entirely for a major corporation to force me to. I was encouraged to participate and now, after I’m invested, I’m being pressured into something I don’t want to do.
See also: Zoë Keating’s albums on Bandcamp.