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YouTube Music strikes sour note

No one's hated a YouTube video this much since Rebecca Black's "Friday."


Fruzsina Eördögh


Posted on Aug 19, 2011   Updated on Jun 3, 2021, 3:17 am CDT

YouTube is rolling out a new page about music in an effort to make it easier to find artists and discover new songs.

The video site’s community, however, is largely displeased with the newest feature on the video-sharing site, scorning it for its heavy commercial undertones.

On August 16, YouTube unveiled its new music page, complete with new features like recommended artists, local concert listings, a new YouTube music chart called the YouTube Top 100, and playlists curated by celebrities and popular music vloggers.

Recent or upcoming curated lists include the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Guide to Rock, David Guetta’s Guide to Electronica, Lady Gaga’s Guide to Pop (to be uploaded Saturday), and Eminem & Royce Da 5’9’’s Guide to Hip Hop  (uploaded Monday).

In a recent Ad Age article, the news site cited a ComScore study that showed 40 percent of traffic to YouTube was to watch music-related videos, so this new YouTube feature makes sense from a marketing perspective.

Yet YouTubers have almost been unanimous in their hatred for the new feature, and have taken to expressing their rage on the company video introducing the new page.

The introductory video, uploaded on August 16, has almost half a million views and four times as many dislikes as likes. The video has almost 5,000 comments, and 90 percent of them are negative.

Many YouTubers complained about missing categories, particularly the omission of indie, dubstep, and metal sections.

The most popular complaint was that the new music page promotes established artists with conventional industry ties, but does nothing for YouTube’s native musical community.

Wrote LegosPL0X, “This would make sense if they’re promoting lesser-known artists, but they’re just telling us what songs are popular, most of which aren’t even good. Not cool, YouTube.”

“A better idea would’ve been Youtube Talent page, where all the random people with great voice or talents could upload their videos,” wrote CrazYMadarfakaR.

Smil3Lik3UMeanIt added, “Everyone who comes onto Youtube for music, aren’t here for commercial stuff. Trust me.. We come on Youtube to find hidden gems, stuff that AREN’T typically on the radios. Because that’s the best stuff.. Thought this channel was for that. thought wrong..”

LatigidGolana weighed in: “Great musicians with no money and fame need to be included….I could give a sh** about top 40….”

Steenus called the new music section a waste: “Isn’t there enough music apps/sources out there already? I realize a lot of people use YouTube for music, but why fix what isn’t broken? I think Zune and Spotify are going to be the future of music for most people.”

YouTuber Xaitra7 was also confused by the new page, saying “Wait….wasn’t Youtube doing all of the *already*? It doesn’t sound like anything new to me. Just the recommended videos are now bigger thumbnails on the home page, and they are framed by grey highlighting. **Nothing** new!”

Some YouTubers’ ire stemmed more from the actual video introduction of the release video, and all the advertising dollars this would bring to YouTube.

With 19 upvotes, tndStudios comment was the most popular: ”I feel like I watched a 1 minute 20 second advertisement about advertisements. Thumbs down.”

Comments nicklofton: ”no! no more advertisements! there is a place for those, the SIDE BAR!”

Bongnbud waxed cynical: “Fck the new you-tube music / commercial channel. its not for the people its for their Wallets.”

The amount of hate this video received has only been seen on Rebecca Black’s original “Friday” video. Case in point, EastKanye’s comment: “YouTube is dead. Bring back the YouTube before fucking google took over.”

So far, no response videos have been uploaded about YouTube’s new music section, but something tells me they will be coming shortly from the site’s voluble community of content creators—a community which is loudly saying that YouTube isn’t playing their tune.

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*First Published: Aug 19, 2011, 2:27 pm CDT