June 10, 2023

Where’s The MP3 Version Of YouTube?

The idea behind YouTube was simple: Users upload videos, other watch and comment on them. It was so simple that it quickly grew it’s own massive social network aspect. Aside from that it was useful. It allowed users to view and upload their videos easily. It just worked and it caught on.

My question is this: Why did we start with video? Where’s the audio version? If I’m a band wanting to host music files, where do I go?

I know bands are using myspace now, but don’t you think there would be a huge promotional value to an audio type site like YouTube? It’d be a great way to find new artists CDs to buy.

Of course, you may be quick to mention that as soon as somebody tries this they’ll be sued out of oblivion by the RIAA. It doesn’t take much to see that users will quickly upload all of their illegal mp3 files to the site to share.

But does that mean the site is responsible for them?

If we look at the YouTube to mp3 scenario the courts have consistently ruled that YouTube is not responsible for what its users do with its service. That is to say if I record a TV show and post it on YouTube, I’m liable for that; not YouTube.

Of course the same law says that if a copyright holder files a DMCA request, that the site must remove the infringing videos. Sounds fair to me.

So again, why isn’t there an audio version of youtube for aspiring (and even commercial) bands to upload their music to? I’m sure college professors could even upload lectures. I’d use it.

Also, why is there the double standard? Why would any music site doing this be shut down immediately while the same laws let its video counterpart succeed?

About Ryan Jones

Ryan Jones is an SEO from Detroit. By day he works as a manager of SEO & Analytics at SapientNitro where his team performs SEO for Fortune500 clients. By night he's either playing hockey or attempting to take over the world with his own websites - which he would have already succeeded in doing had it not been for those meddling kids and their dog. The views expressed here have not been paid for and belong only to Ryan, not any of his employers or clients. Follow Ryan on Twitter at: @RyanJones, add him on Google+ or visit his personal website: www.RyanMJones.com


  1. That was the idea behind mp3.com, and there’s tons of other sites where bands can upload tracks.

    But I think the main reason is audio isn’t as compelling. The visual component is what keeps people hooked to the youtube interface (which isn’t that great, IMO).

    For audio, you’d really rather get a playlist going and then go surf elsewhere, which is why I like the subscription services (Y! Music, Napster) and especially the music search engine Hype Machine (http://hypem.com/).