YouTube wants to fix its awkward relationship with the music industry

For the past few years, the biggest fight in the music industry has been against ad-supported music. Apple attempted to kill Spotify’s free tier before it launched Apple Music; the industry has railed against what it perceives as low payments from YouTube for years; and SoundCloud, one of the most popular ad-supported streaming sites in the world, is on the brink of collapse. But the truth is that ad-supported streaming isn’t going anywhere. YouTube is too big to fail at this point, and labels have largely come to terms with Spotify’s free tier due to its high conversion rate. Getting to scale, everyone acknowledges, requires bringing in users who might not pay at first.

So how will it coexist in a music industry increasingly dominated…

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