Do auto-generated (“Topic”) YouTube channels qualify for the Artist-URL / Youtube relationship?

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Do auto-generated (“Topic”) YouTube channels qualify for the Artist-URL / Youtube relationship?
https://musicbrainz.org/edit/64994062

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I’ve seen some artists promote the YouTube “topic” channel over their own channel. E.g., Gjaldulei’s “band media” page links to https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCr4ZDeKdEM0w87rd7QgN2Vg as “YouTube / Google Music”.

As long as these topics have a unique URL, I don’t see why we shouldn’t link them. Maybe the current relationship needs to be reworded though.

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Relevant ticket:

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It’s certainly not a channel, and I have been removing them when I see them. If we want them to be allowed, then we should either rename the relationship, or have a separate relationship for them. They’re 99% of the time autogenerated crap including, AFAICT, unofficial stuff we generally would avoid linking to, so I’m not a fan tbh.

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If it isn’t the official channel of the artist, I don’t see need to link to it.

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If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck… What makes you say it is “not a channel”? AFAICT, YouTube treats it (on the consumer facing side at least) exactly like a channel.

Regarding the unofficial stuff included in these channels, plays of those videos will still result in royalties to the given artists/rights holders and the artists/rights holders are (being made) aware of those videos being there. I agree that we shouldn’t link those videos directly, but these “topic” channels seem like a perfectly legit target to link to. I do agree with renaming the relationship (or making a new one) though, as stated in my previous comment.

More artists and managers are adding those. The latter doesn’t seem to have any other channel.

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I guess they cannot even manage those channels.

By mistake (I hadn’t consulted the history before), I’ve just participated in a battle on the add/remove of this type of channel. The subject doesn’t seem to be moving forward on a consensus?

These channels are significantly different from the topic pages that Facebook generates. For recording artists, they get licensed content that is organised and credited. If an artist has releases on Deezer, Spotify, or Apple Music, chances are you will find exactly the same releases in the “Albums & Singles” section of the topic channel. These are official releases, and artists/labels have control over what shows up here.

A topic channel can nicely complement an artist’s curated channel. Compare the curated channel and the “topic” channel of Mango Groove (a South African band). Notice that the curated channel has music videos and live appearances, while the topic has complete albums.

In the topic channel, each official release is presented as a playlist. Occasionally you can find an album that has some gaps or other videos mixed in, but that’s uncommon. You can always distinguish the official tracks because:

  • The video image shows the album cover (formerly a small album cover plus the title, artist, and songwriters)
  • The video title is only the track title (with no artist credit)
  • The track is credited to [artist name] - Topic
  • The video description follows a template format like this:

Provided to YouTube by [music licencing body]

[track title] · [track artist] · [songwriters]

[release title]

℗ [year] [label or distributor]

Released on: [YYYY-MM-DD]

Auto-generated by YouTube.

This is rather significant because, unlike most services, YouTube doesn’t require an account to stream the material. In fact, the streams are actually higher quality than Spotify’s ad-supported streams. For such reasons, certain types of material (such as audiobooks) may be withheld from YouTube. Those exceptions notwithstanding, basic YouTube has been an official outlet for licenced streaming audio for years—not just for YouTube Music subscribers.

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