One of Dick Clark’s dirty little secrets was that if you wanted to be on American Bandstand, you’d had to sign away half of your music rights to him. Half.
You couldn’t go to a competitor. There wasn’t one. He was the only game in town, and if you were a young musician who wanted a chance at the brass ring, you had to play by his rules.
For some people it worked- the exposure did launch them to the upper tiers. For most artists, though, they had signed away the rights to the only hit they’d ever have, the only money they’d ever make.
He new exactly what he was doing.
Now Google, the owner of YouTube, is doing the same thing. They’re starting a new “subscription service”- that means you’ll pay money for what you used to get for free- and are kicking off any independent artists who won’t sign their draconian contracts.
There’s no competitor to go to, and the end of net neutrality means there never will be. Do you want a chance at the Big Leagues, young buck? Sign on the dotted line.