YouTube has never been known for having a glowing reputation within the music industry. Since the platform was first founded, YouTubers from around the world have been uploading their favorite music and music videos to the website.
While YouTube has taken controversial steps to address these issues in the form of tools like Content ID and the DMCA takedown system, the use of copyrighted material throughout the website has remained widespread.
Naturally, this has raised the ire of artists on more than one occasion. Back in 2016, nearly 200 musicians signed a petition asking Congress to take a tougher stance on YouTube due to the platform's alleged use of copyright "loopholes." According to the petition, these loopholes have allowed the platform to remain free of liability so long as it responds to takedown notices, reducing YouTube's incentive to police its platform.
According to a recent Bloomberg report, YouTube has made renewed - albeit unconventional - attempts to improve its relationship with the music industry. Instead of merely expanding upon previously-mentioned tools like Content ID and the DMCA system, Bloomberg's sources say that YouTube has offered select musicians a "couple hundred thousand dollars" to promote their work on billboards and produce videos.
These sources, who chose to remain anonymous, further claim that YouTube's efforts aren't wholly based in altruism. Rather, the company is reportedly requiring the artists in question to sign "non-disparagement" agreements that would prevent them from saying negative things about the platform in the future.
We've reached out to YouTube for comment on the matter and will update this article if they respond.