Ever since music has gone digital, it has become very tough for musicians to make money. A war is underway between the online music world against YouTube. Time will tell who will win. But for those of you unaware of the whole thing, here are the basic details.
The Real Story
Major online music record labels are of the opinion that YouTube’s ability to make money from videos puts it in a position of power. Now you might think that its fair, right? At least you are getting your free music, right?
But wait. What about the independent artists and composers who make quality songs? And what about other services where you listen mp3 online?
While services such as Spotify need to get license before making music online available, YouTube can do it without a license.
The European Commission now seeks to make YouTube and other such free music online services subject to the same copyright rules as other streaming services. The European Parliament is likely to vote on it in December. YouTube however, is totally against it.
Gadi Oron, chief executive of CISAC (International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers), made a significant remark. “The biggest problem facing composers is that the most significant source of online music, video streaming services, pay them insignificant royalties,” he said.
Twist in the Tale
BPI, is a records label association that promotes British music songs. It shows some interesting figures which brought a twist in this tale. BPI reveals that artists earned more from vinyl sales of mp3 songs in 2016 than they did from YouTube payments for viewings of music videos.
It shows UK vinyl sales growing for the ninth consecutive year in 2016, to a 25-year high of 3.2m units. This is driven by Blackstar, the latest music songs album by the late David Bowie.
By contrast, online music and video streaming, which is dominated by YouTube, made just £25.5m to the industry.
The BPI, says this is the latest example of YouTube exploiting the “value gap”. This gap is between what it makes from online advertising shown around music videos and what finds its way to the artists’ pockets.
The Fight Continues
The IFPI (a global recording body), on the other hand, claims something else. With 800 million music online users, YouTube is paying little more than $1 per user for the entire year.
This is like peanuts in comparison to revenue from other mp3 free music services like Sabakuch Music or iTunes.
People are turning to new avenues to listen mp3 online. Just like the case with royalty free stock photos, their original songs are being bought or monetized on various music online sites.
The battle between online music world vs YouTube will shape the landscape forever. Good or bad, time will soon tell.