Home Will Music Labels Make a Deal with Hulu and Shun YouTube?

Will Music Labels Make a Deal with Hulu and Shun YouTube?

According to a report by the Financial Times, some of the larger music labels are looking into creating a single destination site for their artists’ video content. The Financial Times cites two unnamed label representatives who argue that Hulu (and not YouTube) would be the most likely partner for this venture.

The relationship between the record labels and YouTube has always been an uneasy one, and two weeks ago, Warner Music and Google failed to sign on a new agreement because they couldn’t agree on the specifics of their revenue sharing deal.

If the record labels want to reach the most eyeballs possible, however, then they are still stuck with putting their videos on YouTube. While Hulu surely had a breakout year, its audience is still dwarfed by YouTube’s, even though it might be catching up to Google’s video-sharing service in terms of revenue, as advertisers tend to favor the professionally produced material on Hulu.

YouTube vs. Hulu vs. a Possible Joint Venture

According to the Financial Times, other options for the labels include “the creation of a premium service on YouTube, Google’s video sharing site; or, a standalone venture between some or all of the four largest recorded music groups.”

Given that the record labels don’t have a good track record when it comes to creating their own destination sites (think Pressplay, the ill-fated joint venture between Universal Music and Sony Music), a corporation with an existing entity still looks like it would be their best option, and Hulu would probably be the most interested in this (non-exclusive) deal, as it would benefit the most from being able to feature this content on its service.

However, we also wouldn’t be surprised if the record labels decided to create their own joint venture, where revenue sharing wouldn’t be an issue. Finding a sizable audience, on the other hand, might prove to be a problem if the labels decide to go this route.

CC licensed image of turntable courtesy of Flickr user alvzer.

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