In terms of providing entertainment, the internet now rivals books, radio, and television. There are so many websites that offer the same services as the others, but with better features. For instance, a person can choose what movie to watch on NetFlix. Shows on TV are set on a schedule, so you would have to wait for specific time slots to watch what you want. The same can be said for stereo. While some stations accept song requests, it is not guaranteed that they will play your song request. On the internet, you have the privilege to choose all day, every day.
One of the popular sites for entertainment is Youtube. It features so much content, including short films, video blogs or vlogs or shorts, and music. It is available all over the world, so the content generates many audiences.
Expectedly, content creators use the platform for advertising their products. Music artists and record labels, for example, utilize Youtube’s popularity to promote their music or songs. The main goal is to reach milestones, like reaching a million views. Once those milestones are achieved, it will generate conversations that revolve around the song. That furthermore increases its popularity. Of course, they treasure every new view of their content on Youtube.
Still, they have several complaints about the website.
YouTube is still one of the most popular websites on the internet. So, when sales from CDs and song downloads became unreliable for musicians to produce income, they put their hopes on streaming. Nowadays, Spotify, Apple Music, and Amazon Prime Music have been gaining traction. Still, the sheer size of huge channels buying real YouTube views makes it the more preferred platform. In fact, it accounts for 25 percent of all music streamed worldwide. That is more than any other site.
However, some problems need to be resolved. First and foremost, musicians point out that YouTube benefits from their music video more than they do. They say that the platform does not pay enough for the songs played on the website.
Some music artists even provided pieces of evidence that show how unfair the system is. For instance, Zoe Keating, an instrumental cello player, uploads her music to Youtube and Spotify. In July 2017, she showed the Washington Post a statement from YouTube regarding how much money her videos made for her. It showed that she earned $261 from 1.42 million views. On the other hand, she earned $940 from 230,000 streams on Spotify. Clearly, she got less money from YouTube than from Spotify. Keating even said that the revenue in YouTube is so negligible, so she no longer pays attention to it. What should have been her primary source of income quickly became a source of extra money. Other music artists like Garth Brooks to Pharrell Williams also said the same.
In general estimates, YouTube pays $1 for every 1,000 plays. That is significantly lower than the almost $7 from Spotify or Apple music for the same amount of plays. YouTube did not deny this, but they gave a reason for why it is this way. However, the music industry does not see YouTube’s reason as valid.
Aside from the low payment, copyright infringement is a major issue. Music artists and labels say that Youtube is not doing enough to prevent piracy. They believe that since the platform earns so much from music videos, they should protect them. Unfortunately, that is not happening. YouTube gets away by exploiting loopholes, using legal protections not to be held accountable.
Here is the case breakdown for a clearer picture. YouTube, as we know it, is a platform where users can upload their content. Anyone can be a content creator. The problem is, they are permitted to self-regulate. The users are the ones to identify whether their content is suitable for the platform or not. Until their content gets reported, it will stay on the platform. Because they have this freedom, users can upload videos that use copyrighted and unlicensed music.
That is not good for the income of the music artist. When users search for their song on the platform, they may click on the other video, thus, reducing what they should have earned.
So, music artists have to hunt them down. To keep what is rightfully theirs, they have to report every other video that used their music without permission. However, it would take time before those videos are removed. Then, users can just upload a new video once the first ones are taken down. So it becomes a never-ending game of whack-a-mole. If YouTube really supports and promotes the music industry, as they claim, then this should not be the case.
In the past business model, even vinyl records generated more money for artists than YouTube did. It is the same way Google makes money for others. They sell ads in or adjacent to music-related videos. Then, the money made from those advertisements is split between the people and companies behind the songs. Of course, in that method, the musicians get the short end of the stick. It is outrageous since they should at least benefit equally.
Now, things have changed. Lyor Cohen, YouTube’s Global Head Of Music, revealed that the platform paid over $4 billion to the music industry over the last year. That is close to the $5 billion that came from Spotify.
It shows the improved relationship between the streaming site and music artists. After receiving so much criticism, YouTube launched a stand-alone YouTube Music streaming service. YOutube gets money from premium subscriptions, which are sent to the music artists or companies. With that service, they can meet halfway.
Still, some people do not consider that enough. Even so, it is a huge improvement from the way things are before. As they put it, the music industry is still not happy with YouTube’s services. But, they are no longer angry at the platform.
Date: July 6, 2021 / Categories: YouTube, / Author: Joy P