The latest stats from You Tube concerning views of Vevo and the separate Warner channel are striking. 38% of You Tube’s July visitors watched a Vevo video, and 19.8% of them watched a video on the Warners channel.

But does “scale” alone create enough bargaining power to make a difference in the negotiations that record labels have to undertake in this area?

Scale is certainly an acknowledged source of bargaining power in any deal. You can imagine it having some weight in negotiations between You Tube and Record labels over a share of ad revenue from video streams. But this is only one kind of negotiation that record labels have to undertake, as in the digital age a share of ad revenues is unlikely to make “the” difference for labels financially, whatever percentage they negotiate.

Labels also have to negotiate for the attention of consumers (and try to turn that attention into cash). Here sheer scale is not enough, as there are enough streams available elsewhere (and for free) to enable scale on Vevo to be negated by lack of scarcity elsewhere. So, other forms of bargaining power need to be brought into play.

Can record labels leverage their “expertise” for example, to create authoritative offerings which consumers value and might pay for? On the same basis can they use the unique “information” at their disposal about their artists and their products to create attention and value? Information is a source of power…Can they re-create scarcity through the creation of multiple bundles which are exclusive by reference to time or channel? Can they use their “network” power (the power to connect users with desirable networks, such as their network of artists) to create value?

Scale is a useful source of bargaining power but is not always enough all by itself to clinch deals…