Kenyan artistes may have to signs a new contract with YouTube or risk loosing their accounts and revenue. The online company is preparing to launch a subscription service that is intended to help them compete in the streaming music industry.
Robert Kyncl, the company's head of content and business operations, told US press that videos from independent artists could be blocked "in a matter of days" if the labels continued to refuse to sign.
Earlier this month trade groups representing thousands of labels and musicians appealed to the European Commission to intervene on their behalf. They have accused the Google-owned company of offering unfair contractual terms to the independents in comparison to those offered to larger firms like Universal or Sony.
Kyncl said, "While we wish that we had 100 per cent success rate, we understand that is not likely an achievable goal and therefore it is our responsibility to our users and the industry to launch the enhanced music experience," he stated.
The new YouTube service is rumoured to be called YouTube Music Pass.
Though this rollout may also affect the African markets where the concept of labels has not taken root. Most artiste thrive as solo entities. Some of the top Youtube videos include Sauti Sol's Nishike and Sanaipei Tande's Mfalme Wa Mapenzi.
Kenya's Google Plus Evangelist, rapper Astar told Word Is, "The thing is that YouTube is introducing a Pay added system and what I know is that this won't affect Kenyan independent artistes because 95 per cent of the content is uploaded by them. It is like saying YouTube will delete 95 per cent of the content by independent artistes."
Astar added that there will be a YouTube workshop open to all creatives on June 26 to discuss this and other issues. The venue is to be confirmed.