Music videos by artists such as Adele, Arctic Monkeys and Radiohead will be removed from YouTube because the independent labels to which they belong have refused to agree terms with the site.
Google, which owns YouTube, has been renegotiating contracts as it prepares to launch a music subscription service.
A spokesperson for the indie labels said YouTube was making a “grave error of commercial judgment”.
YouTube said it was bringing “new revenue streams” to the music industry.
Robert Kyncl, YouTube’s head of content and business operations, told Financial Times that videos from independents could be blocked “in a matter of days,” if new licenses are not negotiated.
The three major record labels – Universal, Sony and Warner – have all agreed terms with the site, but smaller independents are holding out.
Some independents say they are being offered “highly unfavorable terms”.
YouTube’s entry into the music subscription market comes after Amazon launched a similar service for its Prime members, and Apple bought online music service Beats Music.