Greg, I think that the labels don’t care about startups or bloggers except to the extent that they influence deals with the behemoths. If your usecase is valuable to Google, for example, the labels can charge Google a premium for enabling it.

Also, there is a chance that your site will become large enough to be worth the lawyer bills for negotiations, and the labels will want to prevent you from riding on Google’s deal in that case.

Their mission is to reduce your profit margin to the minimum needed to keep you in business while feeding their profit & loss statement. To do that they want to custom tailor the deal according to your ability to meet the payments. If you monetize worse than others, they want you to go out of business, so that they don’t eat market share from those others.

It comes down to how high your CPM is relative to other web vendors, including your friend Google.