A few weeks ago, YouTube began to display its disliking for Discord music bots. First in the firing line was Groovy Bot. The owners of the bot, which enabled users to play music from YouTube videos in the background of Discord servers, were sent a cease and desist letter by the Google-owned video sharing platform. The bot was installed on over 16 million servers, but was given just seven days to disappear. The deadline of the 30th August was met.
Now, YouTube is contuing its anti bot campaign, demanding that the similar but more popular, Rythm ceases to exist. Again, the bot has been afforded seven days to clear off, with the looming 15th September as the deadline. 20 million Discord servers currently utilise Rythm, and boasts over 560 million individual users. Discord has a monthly active user-base of 150 million, and 30 million of these actively use Rythm on a monthly basis.
As a result, this takedown will cause a notable musical hole in a large chunk of Discord users lives.
This is exactly why Yoav, the owner of Rythm has revealed that he is already working on an alternative. Speaking to The Verge, Yoav stated his team are “working on something new in the music space”. He also suggested that it will have some link to Discord, but is reluctant to reveal too much information at this stage.
Yoav believes that more bot developers will start to receive similar letters from YouTube. The shutting down of music bots potentially spells the end of an era on Discord, with so many users experiencing servers with accompanying soundtracks. Because these bots have been created independently of Discord, the chat software has avoided landing in hot water with YouTube.
Lately, Discord has been testing a YouTube watch party feature on its app. Whilst not a direct replacement for music bots, if launched officially it will enable users to enjoy YouTube content legally within Discord. This possible partnership may suggest YouTube’s rationale for demanding the demise of unauthorised music bots.
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