i'm sure they will buy their way out... :batman: Apple Wants to Force Record Labels to Stop Licensing Music to Spotify and YouTube http://www.xxlmag.com/news/2015/05/apple-licensing-spotify-youtube/? The streaming music game is getting serious as it becomes a bigger revenue avenue for artists and labels. With the relaunch of Beats Music reportedly on the way, Apple is looking to shake things up with aggressive tactics that are being investigated by the Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commision. According the The Verge, "Apple has been pushing major music labels to force streaming services like Spotify to abandon their free tiers, which will dramatically reduce the competition of Apple’s upcoming offering." The Verge also reports that Apple is using its status in the electronics and music world to try and convince labels to not renew Spotify's license through its free tier. Of Spotify's 60 million users, only 15 million pay a monthly fee to use the service. If the free option were to disappear, the result could be millions of previous Spotify users jumping ship to the relaunched Beats Music, which is expected to feature exclusive content. Sources to the Verge also say that Apple has offered to pay YouTube's music licensing fee to Universal Music Group if the label stopped allowing YouTube to stream its songs. "All the way up to Tim Cook, these guys are cutthroat," an industry source told The Verge. Officials from the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission have already begun an investigation. The New York Post also reports that the European Union’s Competition Commission has launched a probe of Apple and other music streaming services to see if they are working with music labels to try and rid the world of free streaming services. --- Apple Apparently Under Government Scrutiny Over Music Deals http://gizmodo.com/apple-apparently-under-government-scrutiny-over-music-d-1702478158 Apple's long-rumored relaunch of the Beats music-streaming service is slated for June, and in preparation, the company is softening the beaches by playing hardball with record labels. And, not for the first time, federal trade commissioners aren't particularly happy. According to sources that have spoken to Bloomberg and The Verge, Apple is pushing hard to ink exclusive deals for the new streaming service -- and take money and music away from rivals like Spotify and YouTube. The Verge reported that "Apple offered to pay YouTube's music licensing fee to Universal Music Group if the label stopped allowing its songs on YouTube". Bloomberg writes that "Apple has approached more than a dozen artists including Florence and the Machine for limited exclusive rights to music and partnerships". Both Apple and record-label spokespeople have denied comment; but this wouldn't be the first time that Apple has been embroiled in an anti-trust case. Famously, Apple worked with ebook publishers to force Amazon to change its pricing strategy, an action that's ended with an anti-trust monitor installed on Apple's campus. Of course, the new charges are far from conclusive at this stage -- only time, the FTC, and the ability to stream TaySway on YouTube will tell. --- ​Why Google Is Strong-Arming Artists Into Signing With YouTube Music Key http://gizmodo.com/why-google-is-strong-arming-artists-into-signing-with-1681466872 Cello rock n' roller Zoë Keating is really upset that Google is trying to force her to sign over the rights to her music for its new streaming service, YouTube Music Key. If she won't play ball, she'll lose all of YouTube's monetization options, and her account will be demoted to a third-party account just like any other jerk on YouTube. In other words, YouTube will no longer treat her like a musician. In a long post on her Tumblr, Keating explains that her YouTube rep contacted her and explained that she would need to sign on to YouTube Music Key or her channel would be "blocked." According to her, these are the stipulations of continuing to use her YouTube account as she has now. 1) All of my catalog must be included in both the free and premium music service. Even if I don't deliver all my music, because I'm a music partner, anything that a 3rd party uploads with my info in the description will be automatically included in the music service too. 2) All songs will be set to "montetize", meaning there will be ads on them. 3) I will be required to release new music on Youtube at the same time I release it anywhere else. So no more releasing to my core fans first on Bandcamp and then on iTunes. 4) All my catalog must be uploaded at high resolution, according to Google's standard which is currently 320 kbps. 5) The contract lasts for 5 years. Ultimately for Keating it's not a question of whether she wants to participate in a streaming service or not -- her music is on Spotify, and she's even leaked torrents of her tunes herself. For her, the issue is about choice. She doesn't see why she should have to participate in the system, she explains: 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. In other words, Keating sees it as something of a bait and switch. She signed up for one service by which she can make money from advertising on the videos she uploads, and now that she bought into that, she's concerned that she is being forced into a relationship. The change has a predatory flavor to it that should make any body squirm.