According to some reliable sources, YouTube has fered promotional support to musicians in exchange for those musicians not to criticize the video-hosting site. As reported by Bloomberg, over the past several months YouTube has given six-digit checks to a handful musicians to create videos and also promoted their works on billboards in an effort to mend their severely complicated relationship with the music industry. YouTube has been agreeing to long-term deals with major labels and intends on launching a by March 2018.
Without elaborating on what exactly they meant, one the anonymous musicians who spoke to Bloomberg about this practice said that YouTube’s non-disparagement clause goes beyond you can’t criticize them, they also require that most their partners agree to those same terms, including people who make original content for their paid service.
In 2016, nearly 200 artists signed a petition which called for YouTube to better police copyright violations on their site. Senior YT executives were very upset about that letter and privately claimed that they were backed by a majority artists and managers. People familiar with the matter said that major artists like Taylor Swift and Paul McCartney had only added their names to the letter so that their record labels could negotiate better deals. YouTube also countered the public rebuke by saying they’d paid out more than $1 billion to the music industry, while simultaneously stepping up their crackdown copyright infringement.