As most of you might already know, Youtube RED has been something quite controversial since it was first announced. For those who don’t know it’s a service that removes ads for viewers in the US for $9.99.
Overall it sounded like a good deal since I wanted to support the creators I enjoy on Youtube a bit more, and following a Netflix style seemed like a good idea at them time. We can finally get to enjoy music and save videos offline!
But … it seems like it has come with a double-edged sword for fans of Japanese music.
I actually recieved an email from Youtube alerting me that a few fansubs I had done back in the day for Morning Musume had been claimed by UFA. It was understandable since most did feature the MV itself, but they have been up since 2006 and one of them was a slideshow … so I was quite surprised to see that it had been taken down now.
It was a bit weird, but I didn’t think much of it.
I noticed a bit later when I wanted to rewatch an MV for Silent Siren, and couldn’t get through. I tried it with another MV and I had the same result:
According to arama! JAPAN, quite a lot of channels were affected. In fact, most have.
What does this mean for fans overseas? Quite a lot, especially since Youtube RED might be spreading worldwide soon. We could lose access to MVs, videos, and other amazing content from our favorite Japanese artists, simply because Youtube wants a bit more money.
Youtube has very strict terms in place for this, and frankly we could be seeing a massive change in how Japanese music will change if the trend continues.
Is this a problem yet? We don’t know, and that’s the scary part. We’re no strangers to this since back before Youtube hit Japanese labels we relied on Vimeo, Dailymotion, and other sites to share videos for fans to enjoy. I still remember the days where I had to rip a PV from Dohhh UP!, and how hard it was to spread the music for fans overseas to enjoy.
Youtube might be doing more harm than good, but all I hope is that Youtube can come to terms and provide creators and channel owners what they deserve. This way everyone can be happy and continue enjoy the content we have enjoyed for years.
The bottom line is this: Without creators and people providing videos, there would be no Youtube. If there is no Youtube, then we’ll sadly have to find someplace else. That’s how it works.
Time will tell if this gets better, but meanwhile make sure to tweet and message the companies to make your voice be heard so we can continue to enjoy the content we love. All the companies and groups listed here have the content limited:
- Victor Entertainment
- Columbia Music Japan
- AKB48, SKE48, HKT48, NGT48
- Pony Canyon
- Zankyo Record
- Yonezu Kenshi
- Ling Tosite Sigure
- Yasuda Rei
- LEGO BIG MORL
- Alice Project
To those affected by this, please use VPN plugins to circumvent this. The one I’m currently using is called ZenMate, but other fans have used Hola.
We’ll update with any news regarding this topic.