About Social Media and Internet Advertising | AdLand

Our friends at AdLand recently posted this story “Nice ad you got. Be a shame if no one saw it.” They detail how social media sites like YouTube and Facebook are becoming more and more aggressive in leveraging their platforms to require payment for engagement.

Bands take note, these platforms are charging you to reach the audience you built for them…

The article is a must read, a small except below.

In 2012, GM stopped advertising on Facebook. It took its 40 million dollars elsewhere. When Facebook started reducing organic reach it became even clearer that social media is not the bargain, or effective juggernaut it was purported to be.

Consider that analog media print for a moment. You spend money to place an ad in GQ, and it goes in GQ’s across the country. There is no guarantee someone will buy the magazine, of course, but if they do, there is a good chance they’d see your ad. If Facebook owned GQ, you’d place an ad in it, and then Facebook would hide 90% of the magazines unless you paid them to put the magazine featuring your ad on the magazine stands.

So we live in the digital age where media channels like Youtube and Facebook seem only effective if you pay for views to inflate your numbers (and likes if you’re even more smarmy). And remember, a vast majority of Youtube videos (ads or otherwise) do not go viral. Then in Facebook’s case you’re dealing with a a quasi-Mafia-style practice of paying them to “boost” your post to an audience you worked hard to cultivate.

PLEASE READ THE FULL STORY AT ADLAND:
http://adland.tv/adnews/nice-ad-you-got-be-shame-if-no-one-saw-it/1541959236

Michael Price: Composer for Sherlock blames Google and YouTube for suppressing rewards songwriters receive | Independent UK

More artists, performers, songwriters and composers are getting it.

“YouTube are effectively paying incredibly low rates and are not a willing partner to negotiate licences and that pulls down the rates from someone like Spotify, which has to compete in their free service with YouTube,” he told The Independent on Sunday.

“The value from the music we create is being sucked out into the companies that aggregate it, [but] YouTube … are not happy to set adequate streaming rates. There is a huge shift of value from artists to tech companies.”

READ THE WHOLE STORY AT THE INDEPENDENT UK:
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/media/michael-price-composer-for-sherlock-blames-google-and-youtube-for-suppressing-rewards-songwriters-receive-10447054.html

Did Google & YouTube just Scam The Entire Record Business into Free Streaming Licenses? MusicKey is MIA…

Remember all the controversy over YouTube’s ad-free streaming subscriber service, MusicKey? If the words “Google” and “Ad-Free” sound like a complete contradiction, you are not alone.

MusicKey_AdFree

Ok, so where is it? We tried to sign up, but we’ll be notified later when the service is available.

whenMusicKey

Remember how one of the requirements was ALL OF YOUR MUSIC also had to be licensed for FREE STREAMING on YouTube or your promotional videos would be blocked or banned from the site?

Did you forget? No worries, here is the recap from Zoe Keating’s blog that brought the issue to light.

1) All of my catalog must be included in both the free and premium music service. Even if I don’t deliver all my music, because I’m a music partner, anything that a 3rd party uploads with my info in the description will be automatically included in the music service too.

2) All songs will be set to “montetize”, meaning there will be ads on them.

3) I will be required to release new music on Youtube at the same time I release it anywhere else. So no more releasing to my core fans first on Bandcamp and then on iTunes.

4) All my catalog must be uploaded at high resolution, according to Google’s standard which is currently 320 kbps.

5) The contract lasts for 5 years.

So, “All songs will be set to “montetize”, meaning there will be ads on them.” That’s one hell of a trade-off to get some subscription money, but maybe it won’t be so bad once that MusicKey money starts rolling in right? YouTube and Google have a HUGE amount of users to convert to PAYING SUBSCRIBERS, right?

Hahahahahahahahahaa. You fell for that gag? Seriously? Here’s what YouTube says about that little side business of PAID SUBSCRIBERS…in an interview between YouTube Senior Exec Robert Kyncl and Music Ally: YouTube Music Key delay ‘nothing too serious’ says senior exec.

“We’ll always have ad-supported: that’s our core, and we’ll never stop focusing on it.  It’s in Google’s DNA to be in the ad-supported business.

Subscription is just an add-on. It’s an adjacent business that we’re building.”

Suckas… You seriously thought Google who has slathered the internet with advertising on “User Pirated Content” across multiple platforms was going to pivot to a paid subscription model to move away from advertising on it’s flagship video streaming site? Really? Seriously?

You saw that five year term, right? So MusicKey is a no show for subscriber revenue but thanks to that five year term the largest streaming service in the world, that pays the least amount per stream now has licenses for the next half decade. As the kids say, LOL.

Don’t worry about MusicKey not showing up anytime soon with that Paid Subscriber Money, in the meantime enjoy your life’s work as a YouTube auto-generated music video and playlist, for free.

Oh MusicKey we would have loved to have known you – now all we have is our catalogs of master recordings being monetized on old-school YouTube for pennies on the dollar of every other streaming service including Spotify. Wow, just wow.

And Speaking of Spotify, guess who has a seat on the board to make sure that their “ad-supported DNA” remains the primary focus of that music streaming service? Three guesses… Yup, it’s Google.

Here’s a trip down MusicKey memory lane…

April 2014 : Exclusive: ‘YouTube Music’ Is Launching This Summer… | Digital Music News

June 2014 : Artists who don’t sign with YouTube’s new subscription service to be blocked [Updated] | Ars Technica

June 2014 : F*&K It: Here’s the Entire YouTube Contract for Indies…| Digital Music News

November 2014: YouTube’s MusicKey Will Cause $2.3 Billion In Music Industry Losses… | Digital Music News

January 2015 : YouTube Is Removing Any Artist That Refuses to License Its Subscription Service…| Ars Technica

April 2015 : If You Don’t Agree to YouTube’s New Ad-Free Terms, Your Videos Will Disappear…|Digital Music News

June 2015 : YouTube Music Key delay ‘nothing too serious’ says senior exec | Music Ally

Exhausting… Why would anyone trust these people? All hail “User Pirated Content“… and if that doesn’t work just come up with a non-existent paid subscriber streaming service that auto-generates music videos and playlists on the free, ad-supported platform. At least that part is working, right?

Let’s talk about transparency for a second. Why is it that YouTube would be excluded from Google’s own DMCA tracking report? It couldn’t be because DMCA notices and takedowns of infringing material YouTube dwarf even the most notorious of pirates sites say like The Pirate Bay? No, that wouldn’t be the reason would it?

553k_InfringingBusinessesMaybe #adbusters and #blackspot really do have it right…

How to ignore YouTube completely: One Direction’s radical gamble | Music Business Worldwide

Good luck Sony, let’s see how this goes with the “User Pirated Content” at YouTube…

Search YouTube for 1D’s new comeback single Drag Me Down, and you’ll discover Harry, Niall, Louis and Liam are nowhere to be found.

Sony won’t confirm it, but the major appears to have a taskforce stamping out any attempt to upload the track onto the platform.

Why? Because One Direction are using their colossal social media presence (Twitter: 24.5m; Facebook 37m; Instagram: 9.7m) to actively push fans towards iTunes and Spotify instead.

READ THE FULL STORY AT MUSIC BUSINESS WORLDWIDE:
http://www.musicbusinessworldwide.com/how-to-ignore-youtube-completely-one-directions-radical-gamble/

 


YouTube’s Content ID : $375.00 Per Million Views… aka “Block In All Countries”…


What YouTube Really Pays… Makes Spotify Look Good! #sxsw


 

“User Pirated Content” Is Core Internet Advertising Model (Which is Why Streaming Rates Can’t Increase Until Piracy is Decreased)

Google’s YouTube is a business built on infringement as a model. So called “User Generated Content” is really just code for what the majority of the high value media on YouTube really is, “User PIRATED Content“.

In other words there’s nothing internet advertising loves more than illegally monetizing the work of professional creators, and thus driving down the true fair market rates for those works (keep this in mind when thinking about Spotify and streaming services!).

Below are excerpts from emails discovered during the Viacom Vs. YouTube lawsuit and published  by DailyFinance:

• A July 29 email conversation about competing video sites laid out the importance to YouTube of continuing to use the copyrighted material. “Steal it!” Chen said , and got a reply from Hurley, “hmmm, steal the movies?” Chen’s answer: “we have to keep in mind that we need to attract traffic. how much traffic will we get from personal videos? remember, the only reason our traffic surged was due to a video of this type.”

And this is not the only smoking gun, here’s a quote from DailyTech regarding Google’s Ad Sales and the site EasyDownloadCenter: 

In fact, Google’s ad teams even made suggestions designed to optimize conversion rates by using keywords targeted to pirated content – such as suggesting downloading films still in theatrical release, that obviously were not available yet in any authorized format for home viewing.

According to PCWorld this added up to some decent money…

EasyDownloadCenter.com and TheDownloadPlace.com generated US$1.1 million in revenue between 2003 and 2005, and Google received $809,000 for advertising, the Journal reported.

Both YouTube and Google Search function similarly by monetizing infringing “User Pirated Content” with advertising. On YouTube users upload infringing music and videos of all varieties which attract the consumers to the globally dominant and monopolistic video streaming site.

Remember the email above where the YouTube founders admit “how much traffic will we get from personal videos? remember, the only reason our traffic surged was due to a video of this type”. And by “this type” they mean professionally produced and created media by artists, musicians, filmmakers and other creative professionals that are of high value in attracting an audience – an audience that can then be monetized with advertising.

Google Search operates in very similar way (no coincidence) by monetizing (mostly with advertising) millions infringing URLs on sites primarily dedicated to distribution of copyrighted works via p2p networks and bittorrent.

Over 50 Major Brands Funding Music Piracy, It’s Big Business!

LouReedCHEVY

But don’t take our word for it, here’s a report from DigiDay (owned by The Economist):

According to AppNexus CEO Brian O’Kelley, it’s an easy problem to fix, but ad companies are attracted by the revenue torrent sites can generate for them. Kelley said his company refuses to serve ads to torrent sites and other sites facilitating the distribution of pirated content. It’s easy to do technically, he said, but others refuse to do it.

“We want everyone to technically stop their customers from advertising on these sites, but there’s a financial incentive to keep doing so,” he said. “Companies that aren’t taking a stand against this are making a lot of money.”

What about the removing infringing material with a DMCA notice you ask? Well, we’re glad you did… here’s how it “works”…


DMCA “Takedown” Notices: Why “Takedown” Should Become “Take Down and Stay Down” and Why It’s Good for Everyone | Nova Edu


 

Safe Harbor Not Loophole: Five Things We Could Do Right Now to Make the DMCA Notice and Takedown Work Better


 

Why Apple Music and Tidal are the right business models with the wrong optics.

Since Spotify launched in 2010 the music business has been in an existential crisis. Convinced that ad-supported unlimited free access to on-demand music would ultimately grow recorded music revenues the major labels opted into what may be their worst decision ever. This decision aided by an estimated 18% (or more) equity position in Spotify has not grown overall music revenues over the past five years. In fact, for the year ending 2014 global revenues reported by the IFPI stated that revenues were at the lowest point in decades. So what to do?

For starters the first and most obvious solution would be to eliminate the unlimited ad-supported free access to on-demand music. This is the model that made ad funded, for profit piracy so popular on over half a million infringing links from unlicensed businesses served by Google search and delivered to your inbox by Google Alerts complete with social media sharing buttons. These unlicensed businesses are receiving hundreds of millions of DMCA notices annually from artists and rights holders. Let us not forget that this is also the same model that Daniel Ek helped to perfect as the CEO of u-torrent the worlds most installed bit-torrent client. Ek has said he’d rather shut down Spotify than give up his failed ad supported business model.  We thought Spotify was built on converting ad supported (where Spotify board member Google makes money serving ads) to subscription (where artists make money).  So much for that.

And this is who the record business is taking notes from? Perhaps that’s why Universal is restructuring.  This may have seemed like a good idea to some senior executives but it turned out to be a complete disaster.  Time to change.

Despite moves in the right direction by Tidal and Apple Music the optics for both of these companies at launch of their respective streaming models have been somewhere between missteps and an absolute disaster. Dismissing for a second that both Apple and Tidal could be the targets of public relations campaigns by competing corporations such as Spotify, Pandora and Google (YouTube) let’s look at what each is offering. Tidal and Apple Music offer no unlimited ad-supported free access to on-demand music. That means no business to those selling advertising… like, Google.

There is nothing more important to the future of the recorded music ecosystem than removing the unlimited ad-supported free access to on-demand music.

For all intents and purposes even free streaming is ownership and here’s how you can tell. If you can chose it, and access it, you essentially own it whether you pay for it or not. Streaming replaces ownership at the consumer level but does not compare to ownership on price. At some point there needs to be a market correction to properly value music consumption.

The launch of Tidal should have been a rallying cry for all artists to support a business model that limited free streaming, incentivized paid subscriptions through exclusive offerings and diversified consumer experiences with higher quality streaming formats. This is the model we should be focused on. As the Buddhist saying goes, “trust the teaching, if not the teacher.” In other words it doesn’t matter if you don’t like Jay-Z and Madonna.  And securities laws makes the whole stock issue so difficult that Tidal would have been far better off saying they’d pay all participating artists a bonus in the cash from the company’s own stock sales rather than get down the rabbit hole of who gets stock and who doesn’t.

Unfortunately the celebrity that could have united a community, instead divided it through messaging that most would acknowledge appeared to be less than inclusive. Worse, the optics appeared to be elitist whereby those already rich and famous seemed to be more focused on their own fortunes as opposed to a sustainable ecosystem for the next generation of musicians.

Perhaps if each of the artists at the Tidal launch would have appeared with a developing artist they were supporting the messaging and optics would have been more inclusive and more about community than celebrity.

We have to acknowledge what kind of business we want going forward. Clearly, unlimited ad-supported free access to on-demand music is not working. Both Tidal and Apple Music do NOT have unlimited ad-supported free access to on-demand music. So what’s the problem?

Following the Apple Music launch Spotify announced it had achieved 75m global users (we love that, “users” no kidding) and 20m paid subscribers. So let’s look at the numbers in relationship to what Apple Music could bring to the market place. Keep in mind that 55m of Spotify’s user base are NOT paying for the service. Based on reporting we’ve been provided the free tier accounts for 58% of plays which is only 16% of the total revenue.

With all the back and forth between Apple and labels and the announcement last week by NMPA of the publisher’s deal—freely negotiated without government “help” by the way–it’s pretty clear that Apple announced Apple Music without all their ducks in a row contractually.  This opened up an opportunity for haters who are just gonna hate.  Now that the picture is becoming a bit clearer, we feel more confident than ever that most of the noise is coming from competitors who would like to create yet another consent decree situation but this time for artists and record companies.

So there are a few questions we need to ask about the launch of Apple Music to evaluate the trade-off for eliminating the unlimited ad-supported free access to on-demand music. But before we ask those questions, we need to understand the mechanics of the Apple Music ecosystem.

First, the 90 days free without payment at launch requires the understanding that all consumers will get 90 days free at Apple Music whether they sign up at launch or at any other point later. This means that some people will opt in at launch, some will opt in at some later time. Based on what we have seen of how these streaming subscription services scale we have to ask a few questions.

How many people will have access to opt into Apple Music Streaming on launch? We’ll assume it’s the entire installed user base who upgrade into iOS 8.4. Here’s some back of the napkin math from the iPhone 6 launch when Apple dropped that U2 album into everyone’s Itunes.

According to CBS News 33 Million people of the 500 Million Global Itunes users “experienced” the U2 album. That’s just 6.7 percent of Apple’s reported consumer base.

So what kind of adoption and conversion rate could one expect from the launch of Apple Music? 10 million paid subscribers? 20 million paid subscribers? 50 million paid subscribers? It’s hard to know, but anything north of 20 million pretty much beats Spotify on paid subscribers.  And if you are looking for the company that has defined a paid music service, who you gonna call?  Apple or Spotify?  Who do you trust going forward?

What if Apple is able to convert 30 million or more consumers to paid streaming in only four months when it has taken Spotify five years to acquire 20 million paid?


BREAKING NEWS AT PRESS TIME. APPLE WILL PAY ARTISTS DURING THE FREE TRIAL PERIOD!
Apple Reverses Course, Will Pay Artists During Apple Music Free Trial | Mac Rumors


Of course, Apple should use a couple of bucks from it’s 178 billion dollars in cash reserves to compensate musicians for the consumption of their music during the initial 90 day launch of Apple Music. This would  incentivized artists to promote the service as being both fair and artist friendly and give Apple the thumbs up from the people that matter the most, the artists themselves. Apple’s purchase of Beats was a three billion dollar acquisition, so surely there’s enough money in those coffers to pay artists something.

To put these numbers into perspective Spotify claimed to have paid artists and rights holders two billion dollars globally from it’s initial launch in 2008 through October of 2014.

Here’s some more perspective from asymco.com: In 2012, global music revenues were reported at $16.5 billion, with $5.6 billion coming from digital music. Of that $5.6 billion in music downloads, Apple paid labels $3.4 billion for iTunes sales, which is about 60% of the total digital revenues industry wide—IN LESS THAN ONE YEAR.

In 2012, Apple’s transactional digital model created more revenue for artists and rights holders in less than a year in then it took for Spotify to earn almost 6 years.

If we want to break the death spiral of unlimited ad-supported free access to on-demand music we have to embrace the trade-off of offering limited free trial periods as an incentive for consumers to make the switch.

And by the way—compare the classy way that Eddie Cue of Apple handled Taylor Swift compared to Daniel Ek who comes off like a semi-stalker.  Who understands artist relations the best?

The problem with ad-supported unlimited free access to on-demand music is illustrated below showing Spotify domestic streams and revenues. It’s just math and it’s time to move on. Apple Music and Tidal are showing us the way.

 

Zoë Keating Publishes Google/YouTube Transcript : Clarity | Zoë Keating Blog

With friends like these…

If i wanted to just let content ID keep doing it’s thing, and it does a great job at and i’m totally happy with it and i don’t want to participate in the music service, is that an option?

That’s unfortunately not an option.

Assuming i don’t want to, then what would occur?

So what would happen is, um, so in the worst case scenario, because we do understand there are cases where our partners don’t want to participate for various reasons, what we basically have to do is because the music terms are essentially like outdated, the content that you directly upload from accounts that you own under the content owner attached to the agreement, we’ll have to block that content. but anything that comes up that we’re able to scan and match through content ID we could just apply a track policy but the commercial terms no longer apply so there’s not going to be any revenue generated.

Wow that’s pretty harsh.

Yeah, it’s harsh and trust me, it is really difficult for me to have this conversation with all of my partners but we’re really, what we’re trying to do is basically create a new revenue stream on top of what exists on the platform today.

PLEASE READ THE ENTIRE POST/TRANSCRIPT AT:
http://zoekeating.tumblr.com/post/109312851929/clarity

Involuntarily Distribution Business Subsidies | East Bay Ray

One of the talking points that various tech company commentators, academics and bloggers have used to try to justify companies exploiting an artist’s work without consent (a loophole in safe harbor) is that it would lessen the barrier for tech companies to start up. The idea is that creators should be required to give something up to facilitate this goal. Business start-ups are all well and good, but to require anyone to involuntarily subsidize a business, internet or otherwise, with something they have put time, effort, money, and skill into is extremely problematic.

Would these same people advocate that landlords and utility companies also give up income and the right of consent to help internet companies? That would also make it easier for them to start. But no one has suggested that.

It could be ruinous for creators to be required to be involuntarily involved in start-ups that may or not succeed, tying them to businesses that the artists has no way to vet to see if they even know how to distribute competently or honestly. If they are to survive, artists need to examine their licensees and distributors. I’ve seen many artist’s careers die prematurely from incompetent, greedy or dishonest businesses. (Compulsory licenses that are a last resort to negotiation, rather than the first resort to eliminate negotiation, is an alternative that has for decades shown itself to ensure artist’s sustainability.)

To put it into personal terms, I shouldn’t be forced, or any person for that matter, into being a lab rat for some click bait experiment. And then if the experiment is successful, none of the content creators share in any of the IPO rewards. A bit un-American I’d say and bad policy, it does not allocate rewards according to risk.

History has shown that exploitation of another person’s work with little compensation or without their consent to insure an enterprise’s survival is fraught with ethical and moral issues. If internet companies can not make money selling a product or service on merit and integrity, and treating the people that supply their “product” justly and with respect, something is not right. No matter how well intentioned by well meaning people, economic philosophies that ignore consent or fair compensation, rarely turn out good for society.

– – –
East Bay Ray is the guitarist, co-founder and one of two main songwriters for the band Dead Kennedys. He has been speaking out on issues facing independent artists—on National Public Radio, at Chico State University, and on panels for SXSW, Association of Independent Music Publishers, California Lawyers for the Arts, SF Music Tech conferences, Hastings Law School and Boalt Hall Law School. Ray has also met with members of the U.S. Congress in Washington, D.C. to advocate for artists’ rights.

Dead Kennedys’ East Bay Ray Explains How YouTube Is Stealing From Musicians | New York Observer

Taylor Swift recently brought these “robber baron” business tactics into the mainstream. When she removed her catalog from Spotify, they were trying to force a bad deal on her. Dead Kennedys had Spotify figured out early on, we pulled most but not all of our tracks off of Spotify back at the start of 2013. Musicians are not against streaming, but we are against “plantation/sharecropping” business practices. It doesn’t have to be this way.

Educate yourself about what’s really going on and the reality is shocking. Don’t buy the lies and memes, educate people, share this article, stand up. The Internet is not like the weather, it was created by humans and can be changed by humans. It’s not about regulating the Internet, it’s about regulating businesses. (They’ll try to confuse that, too.)