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They lurk on the right hand side of YouTube. You’ve seen them before. Majestic Casual, Eton Messy and a whole host of young pretenders doing all the legwork so you don’t have to.

They collect the coolest music from across the web and stick it on YouTube for the world to appreciate with only a few million views’ worth of advertising money for compensation. Now, it’s all well and good for people to be listening to music they wouldn’t usually hear on the radio or in clubs. This is clearly seen when the comments section to every video has at least 30 comments from Belgian teenagers asking ‘what genre of music this is?’. The culture surrounding the channels is as rabid and fanatic as Justin Beiber fans; who ironically are the target of many a comment [Djdan23: ‘Bieber fans need 2 get sum majestic in they’re life]. The music is at times secondary to the appeal of being part of an internet club; some are happy to just listen to the music [PaulK12: majestic is my life, i sit around and listen to it while high on meth], whilst others feel the need to prove themselves in other ways [DarkKnight3x: MajesticCasual is definitely the best YouTube channel ever, wish they had some merch, I’d wear it like everyday].

It’s this attitude which stops the artists getting the credit they deserve. The name of the channel is plastered over the video, the artist is often ignored and very rarely do success stories like Cyril Hahn occur. With the knowledge that someone else will find the music for you, artists can get over hyped or illicitly hyped due to shady payments to the channels. This process then ends up taking away the kind of independently produced music the channels were set up to uncover and share.

The aesthetic of the channels is troublesome. The videos are decorated with comments that criticise pop music’s over sexualised nature yet these are negated by comments referring to the video’s background image [Themoreks: my penis has good taste in Music]. If every video has a scantily clad, attractive young white girl as a background, Majestic Casual and friends are as unhelpful to sexism in music as Robin Thicke. It’s the same model standing on a beach, repackaged with an Instagram filter, with the channel’s branding plastered on top.

In this age of YouTube, SoundCloud, Spotify, Last.fm, Deezer and other such music platforms, we have more choice than ever before to explore music. It’s nice to have a guiding hand but Majestic Casual, Eton Messy and all the other YouTube channels take the fun out of exploring music. It makes people stop looking for something they like and forces people to click like and share for whatever video may be uploaded that week. Worryingly, we are one step away from these channels putting out a ‘Now That’s What I Call Cool Music 32’ compilation.

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