A new trend has slowly been creeping into the discovery of fresh music. Lurking on the side bar of YouTube lies videos from the likes of Majestic Casual, The Sound You Need and Eton Messy. A new breed of music blog, they cut out the need for writing and present bite-sized chunks of new music every week in the form of a YouTube video. Each video requires a visual accompaniment and Instagram-filtered images of semi-naked women has become the norm.

The concept of the channels is a great idea: use one of the most popular online platforms to share new music. The curator does the legwork so you don't have to. Majestic Casual was launched in 2011 and has established itself as one of the most popular music based channels with over 1.5 million subscribers and over 327 million views. Their aesthetic is heavily centred around images of partially dressed women in sexually suggestive poses. In 853 videos only one contains a semi-naked man. The images are often no more than soft porn and incite derogatory sexist comments which deflect attention away from the music itself and creates a 'boys club' environment which is hostile to female input.

It's an aesthetic which is sadly being mirrored by smaller copycat channels such as La Belle Musique, MrDeepSense and Selected. In fact, Selected has 202 videos and every single one features a female image. If men ever appear as the background to the videos they are wrapped up in trenchcoats and beanie hats, shot from behind and obscured by dim lighting. It's become unthinkable to have a topless man gazing alluringly into the camera or even to have a fully clothed man gazing at his feet.

"They seem to think that because men run the channels it is acceptable to project and apply a heterosexual male fantasy image to a piece of music."

I asked Selected why it is they only used images of women and they acknowledged that it was not in the interests of their subscribers: "Just once, we got a comment that they'd like to see men - and we don't see that as a popular wish. When more comments drop like that, we maybe [sic] use some photos of men in future." Despite them only receiving one comment requesting a male image, Selected did acknowledge their female subscribers significant presence: "Generally it's not the best thing to just use pictures of women because our audience contains around 40% of women. However, it was never our aim to gain more views with those photos (even if it does so)."

Selected's statement is confusing and conflicting, whilst acknowledging that 40% of their subscribers are female, they ignore this demographic because of a lack of comments. The YouTube music channel comment section is hardly a welcoming place for women, as seen on Selected's video for 'Somá - Get Back With Him'. The two most recent comments on the video read 'i'd fuck the shit outa dat ho' and 'One Day im gonna kill all those girls in your videos -_-.' With comments like this is it any wonder that their 40% female subscribers decide not to post comments?

Selected also said that "One should also not forget that most people running those YouTube music blogs are men." They seem to think that because men run the channels it is acceptable to project and apply a heterosexual male fantasy image to a piece of music. When artists make a music video it is their prerogative whether it features scantily clad men or women, but it seems these channels take away an aesthetic from the artists in applying their own imagery.

Eton Messy are one of the largest and most well known of the YouTube music channels and they are pioneering a more inclusive way of branding their video content as a look back at their channel shows an overly heavy reliance on female imagery. Eton Messy acknowledged that the comments section on the videos were becoming more focused with the girl, when their intention was to promote the music; they saw a need for a change: "We have made a conscious decision to move away from photo's of just women. The reason for this is that it was getting to the point where it was attracting the wrong kind of attention."

Starting out as a new YouTube music blog is difficult and Eton Messy acknowledged these difficulties in forging a completely new identity: "When we first started Eton Messy it seemed to be a trend amongst similar electronic music channels to use these kind of images and we rather blindly followed suit. So we finally decided we wanted to do our own thing and make it more about the music alongside more artistic photography and the response has been amazing. This is not to say that the images we use don't sometimes have women in. Just as they sometimes also have men in. The kind of photography we like to use now tend to be more abstract or of landscapes. We just wanted to put more of an emphasis on the photography over who was in them."

"It undoes all their hard work and takes away artistic intent when a YouTube channel manager lazily plonks a picture of a girl in a bikini alongside their new track in the name of generating traffic."

Comments on the videos featuring women can often attract the wrong kind of attention, sometimes it can be the relatively harmless 'came for the girl, stayed for the song' but Eton Messy acknowledge that at times the line can be crossed: "To be honest thats a pretty vanilla comment in comparison with some of the stuff you see on these kind of videos. It was when some people started getting extremely derogatory towards the girls in the pictures that we decided changing the kind of pictures we use was what we wanted to do."

The Sound You Need were also guilty of the same clickbait tactics with 96 women and not a single man featured in any of their first 100 videos; each of which garner well over a million views. They, like Eton Messy, have moved away from relying on semi-naked women to generate clicks and their viewing figures have not suffered because of the quality of their uploads, hopefully this attitude will be mirrored by other channels.

New music should also reflect new attitudes, even if historically the music industry has over-sexualised and misrepresented female artists in the past. In the present day we have had a constant stream of female artists such as Lorde, Grimes and FKA twigs bringing a wave of popular and innovative music to the public. It undoes all their hard work and takes away artistic intent when a YouTube channel manager lazily plonks a picture of a girl in a bikini alongside their new track in the name of generating traffic. Music is for everyone and attaching an exclusive and sexist aesthetic to a genre is detrimental to sharing great music to a wider audience.

Update: Selected's YouTube account has since been deleted ("This account has been suspended due to multiple or severe violations of YouTube's policy against spam, gaming, misleading content, or other Terms of Service violations.")