Major Labels Launch Yet Another Anti-YouTube Offensive

Apr 16th, 2008 // 9 Comments

plugged.pngThe music-video site PluggedIn launched today with about 10,000 videos from Universal Music Group, Sony BMG, and EMI. Branded with the tagline “Filter the noise. Hear the music,” PluggedIn is being seen by the major labels as an opportunity to once again dictate how their content should be experienced and used by the masses, bringing things back to the way they were before those pesky indie labels and YouTube remixers ruined their expense accounts and fat-cat lifestyles. Its picture quality is really quite nice, but it doesn’t allow embedding of its videos, and as mentioned, it only has about 10,000 clips in its label-generated database right now–although it’s licensed the All Music Guide’s content in an effort to make its content well look a lot deeper than it actually is. And not only that, it kicks those pesky people who have opinions about music that may be different than yours–and the ability to spell–to the curb, too!

No music editors here – the Vibe is simply a place where music fans collectively determine the value of the content. We display the best stuff as determined by the browsing activity of our users — what they watch, save, rate, and more. If something catches fire, it’s displayed on the Vibe page for the community to see.

Ah, a world without music editors. What a paradise, right guys? Anyway, so far the site’s most popular videos are U2′s “Pride (In The Name Of Love)” and Afroman’s “Because I Got High,” with the U2 video being the only one that’s broken the thousand-plays mark so far. Apparently there are more features on the way, although the fact that said features were previewed on the site’s official blog with a Jerry Garcia quote makes me wonder just how forward-thinking they could possibly be.

PluggedIn [Official site]
Music-Video Pros Challenge YouTube [WSJ]


  1. KellsM

    Those are completely random videos to be the most viewed. The website looks great though, very easy to navigate.

  2. Al Shipley

    “Pride (In The Name Of Love)”? I would understand that if the site launched on April 4th, but two weeks later that’s kind of a random choice.

  3. Anonymous

    this is seth shellhouse from pluggedin. i appreciate the coverage (albeit negaitve) of our launch, but would like to clarify a couple of things. we ABSOLUTELY DO have content from independent artists and labels and have an aggressive indie outreach program. Also, it is very difficult for a small startup to close deals with major labels. We worked very hard to do that and are proud to have content from their catalogs…but to headline this post “MAJOR LABELS LAUNCH…” is ridiculous. They aren’t behind the curtain, we are our own initiative. Also, we get a lot of content FROM Youtube. We aren’t anti-Youtube. Good job finding an inflamatory angle, though..

  4. Anonymous

    Hi, Jeff from PluggedIn here. Thanks for the write up! I just wanted to clarify that the labels don’t own us, but they are content partners. Our goal is to deliver the highest quality video content to our customers, and then let our customers connect with other fans and bands across the content. The Vine page is really an activity meter for the site- it’s where you can see what’s hot on the site. But we’re also big fans of curated content, so don’t rule out editors yet! As more people use the site, the featured videos and the videos we recommend to you in your profile will change quite a bit- it’s early days now, which is why you may see some odd ones up there. And we’re working on the embed issue- the player is unique, which makes creating an easy embed process a bit more challenging, but we’ll get there. Thanks again for the feedback!

  5. loudersoft

    I was hired to beta test this site but I got so busy I couldn’t participate. Now I can’t comment because I signed a non-disclosure.


  6. Maura Johnston

    @JPS2: @seth_shellhouse: Welcome! Regarding your comments:
    * About indie content, I do have to say that it looks a bit suspicious for you to have only major-label artists (and all UMG videos, at that) as the first thing you see when you go to the site, not to mention in the “about me” section as well.
    * Claiming that you have “millions of artists” in your database while only having videos from a small sliver of them seems a bit disingenuous to me, but we’ll see as things grow.
    * Given that two of the major labels you’ve signed deals with (UMG and SonyBMG) don’t allow embeds of videos on their own YouTube channels, I’m going to guess that the likelihood of them allowing you to put embed codes on their clips is low. But feel free to disabuse me of that notion!

    However, the video quality is very nice, and I will definitely check back in from time to time.

  7. Anonymous

    Hi Maura, Jeff from PluggedIn again. Thanks for the reply, and we are going to do everything we can to blow out the content and add embeds. It’s just day one and we have lots more to do to make this even better. Thanks!

  8. Anonymous

    hey Maura,
    Seth here.
    thanks for giving us a shot!

  9. Anonymous


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