YouTube and MySpace Under Fire

So Universal Music’s chief Doug Morris is reportedly unhappy with YouTube and MySpace and even went as far as branding them “copyright infringers”. The great irony is that both sites are great promotional vehicles for record labels (Jupiter clients look out for a new European report on this topic due out within the next week or so). If any action is taken against MySpace and YouTube then it will be an own goal. It’s time for record labels to wake up to the reality that the Internet’s prime role is not distribution but discovery. The first moves are already in place, including negotiations with ad supported models such as SpiralFrog and of course YouTube, which is in negotiations with a couple of Universal’s competitor labels (EMI and WMG) to run a free ad supported music video service. So why such a divergence in approach between UMG and EMI / WMG? The irony is that UMG have trailblazed the ad supported model with their deal with SpiralFrog. Could it be that UMG would want as little competition as possible to it’s favoured partner (which incidentally it allegedly got paid a significant advance for). If so that would be very short sighted, as ad supported will not be one service, but instead one of the bedrocks of online content.