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Major Labels Consider Hulu Partnership, New Music Video Site as Alternatives to YouTube

December 29, 2008 2:55 PM ET

Labels are continuing to grasp for ways to milk revenue out of their videos that appear for free online. Following Warner Music's exit from YouTube last week, the majors are not only exploring a partnership with the NBC-owned video site Hulu but considering launching their own stand-alone music-video site.

According to reports, two major labels are considering an additional partnership with Hulu, the News Corp./NBC video venture that's mostly used to stream NBC shows. While Hulu isn't a household name like YouTube, the site drew ad revenues in the $70 million range this year, not far behind YouTube's $100 million, and the two companies are expected to pull in even more ad money in 2009.

The four major labels are also considering their own video site as they seek new avenues to showcase videos that aren't being played on MTV (the Website MTV Music, however, has emerged as a viable alternative to YouTube for music-video streaming). Even if the majors were to join forces and create their own streaming site, their preexisting deals with YouTube would remain intact. No concrete plans have been released, but there has been talk of a premium service on YouTube, where users would pay a fee in order to access special areas of the site.Of course, all the talk about Hulu and a standalone, major-label ran service could just be posturing by WMG to get better terms in their new contract with YouTube if the two sides were to agree.

Related Stories:
Warner Music Group Pulls Videos From YouTube As Talks Break Down
Rock Daily Searches YouTube For Robert Plant's Replacement
YouTube Offers Music Downloads Through In-Video Icons

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Song Stories

“Money For Nothing”

Dire Straits | 1984

Mark Knopfler wrote this song with Sting, and it wasn’t without controversy. The Dire Straits frontman's original lyric used the word “faggot” to describe a singer who got their “money for nothing and their chicks for free.” Even though the slur was edited out in many versions, the band, and Knopfler, still took plenty of criticism for the term. “I got an objection from the editor of a gay newspaper in London--he actually said it was below the belt,” Knopfler told Rolling Stone. Still, "Money For Nothing," undoubtedly augmented by its innovative early computer-animated video, stayed at Number One for three weeks.

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