Sony Music Entertainment (SME) just got added to my list of Corporations That Are Idiots.
Let me paint you a picture:
Youtube is basically what MTV (or Much Music, the Canadian equivalent) used to be, but instead of having to sit and watch trash you don’t like, you can simply make your own video line-up. Seems pretty cool, right? You only need listen to the music you want to hear and watch the videos you want to watch.
Except record companies don’t want you to do that. They want to set up channels and force you to watch ads between video views, because record companies like to make money, and money is basically all that matters to them.
Enter channels like VEVO – I’m honestly not even sure what they do, but I know lots of music on Youtube has to be seen on a VEVO channel. For example, a normal user would make a username to reflect the band, e.g. 5440OFFICIAL – what VEVO does is make a channel called 5440VEVO, just so no one forgets who is actually bringing you this epic track.
Then the record company sends some poor, hapless intern into Youtube to find and snipe every single track by every artist that this particular record company represents. This is how they drive traffic to their chock-full-of-ads channel that otherwise, no one would watch. The only way you can listen to a particular song is, of course, by watching it on the appropriate username’s channel.
Then there’s SME. What they’ve done is take off playlist viewing.
If you want to hear a track belonging to Sony, you have to search it out individually and watch it in the way Sony feels is appropriate. Translation? More ads.
I already own this record, Sony. I could be listening to it on my computer. The reason I was on Youtube was to make a playlist for a friend. Imagine my horror when, after spending two hours making this playlist, I find out about 40% of the tracks aren’t available via playlist playback.
Genius plan, Sony! Genius. What you’ve done now is disallow an average user the opportunity to spread the word about a track that could have resulted in another album sale. Instead, you’d rather have the user monetize the track for you by watching an ad. How much do you make from a record sale versus the ad I’ve got blocked, anyway? And yes, we all use ad blockers.
Clearly, there’s an issue here.
Youtube will eventually cease being a revenue stream for record labels because frankly, users will just stop bothering with labels who want to charge you every single time you want to listen to a song – like Sony.
Instead, we’ll resort to pirating tracks using cloud technology and ever faster download speeds.
“Hey man, you want to hear this new tune I can’t stop listening to? Let me just upload it for you…”
Who runs record companies now? Dinosaurs?
If you came here hoping for a solution to that error message, I unfortunately can’t offer you one. What I can suggest is using other alternatives to make and share playlists, until SME and other companies like them figure out how to talk to their audience, rather than try, pointlessly, to control them.