If you’re a fan of various idols, you may have noticed the image above. Some of your favorite idols’ videos may not be viewable if you are in the US. Much to the dismay of all of us fans over here, these videos are blocked in our country now, due to a shift in YouTube policy.
YouTube is preparing to launch a new program on the 28th of October called YouTube Red. This is a special paid subscription option that will be available for US viewers (the rest of the world to follow in 2016). This service offers viewers the opportunity to pay a monthly subscription in order to view YouTube videos without ads. This also provides the content creators higher revenue, and incentive to create YouTube Red exclusive videos (if they wish).
Why is it that we can’t see Hello! Project, AKB48 and some other idol groups on YouTube then? As is to be expected, this new service comes with an update to YouTube’s Terms of Service and their contract information pertaining to content creators. All content creators need to agree to these terms before being allowed to continue displaying their videos in the US. Many creators and providers accepted these terms with no issue, but for some reason many Japanese companies (especially with idols) are still taking time to review their options before buckling down and accepting the terms.
As a result of this, these videos are being blocked from viewership in the US. The following is from an official e-mail sent to me regarding content I have uploaded that has Hello! Project assets in it:
“We’re writing because one or more of your videos is no longer viewable in the United States, due to a pre-existing claim by a copyright owner. Before we get to the details, please be assured that this change does not affect your account standing on YouTube, nor does it put your channel at risk of termination. In other words, this is not a “copyright strike.”
Keep in mind, this is an abridged version of the e-mail. While this is most definitely frustrating, especially since YouTube tends to be our main connection to a lot of the content and information for us, we need to be patient and see what happens. We can only wait and hope that these companies agree to the terms and that our time cut off from the things we love is only for a short time longer. In the meantime, I recommend checking out Dailymotion to fulfill your needs, since many overseas fans are trying to help bridge the gap until this (hopefully) tides over. The video quality isn’t always as good and the interface can be a bit more clunky, but it’s better than nothing.
Here’s hoping that the issues are resolved promptly, and our beloved idol groups can re-enter our lives through YouTube once again.
For more information on YouTube Red: https://www.youtube.com/red