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.)

The Streaming Price Bible – Spotify, YouTube and What 1 Million Plays Means to You!

Several of our posts on streaming pay rates aggregated into one single source. Enjoy…

[UN to Airlift Calculators, Behavioral Economics Textbooks to Digital Music Industry]

musicstreamingindex020114[EDITORS NOTE: All of the data above is aggregated. In all cases the total amount of revenue is divided by the total number of the streams per service  (ex: $5,210 / 1,000,000 = .00521 per stream). In cases where there are multiple tiers and pricing structures (like Spotify), these are all summed together and divided to create an averaged, single rate per play.]

If the services at the top of the list like Nokia, Google Play and Xbox Music can pay more per play, why can’t the services at the bottom of the list like Spotify and YouTube?

We’ll give you a hint, the less streams/plays there are the more each play pays. The more plays there are the less each stream/play pays. Tell us again about how these services will scale. Looking at this data it seems pretty clear that the larger the service get’s, the less artists are paid per stream.

So do you think streaming royalty rates are really going to increase as these services “scale”? No, we didn’t either.

[ BREAKING! Apple Announces Itunes One Dollar Albums and Ten Cent Song Downloads In Time For The Holidays! | Sillycon Daily News ]

 

StreamingPriceIndexwYOUTUBE

We’ve been waiting for someone to send us this kind of data. This info was provided anonymously by an indie label (we were provided screenshots but anonymized this info to a spreadsheet). Through the cooperative and collaborative efforts of artists such as Zoe Keating and The Cynical Musician we hope to build more data sets for musicians to compare real world numbers.

In our on going quest for openness and transparency on what artists are actually getting paid we’d love to hear from our readers if their numbers and experience are consistent with these numbers below. At the very least, these numbers should be the starting point of larger conversations for artists to share their information with each other.

Remember, no music = no business.

whatyoutubereallypaysFor whatever reason there appear to be a lot of unmonetized views in the aggregate. So let’s just focus on the plays earning 100% of the revenue pool in the blue set. These are videos where the uploader retains 100% of the rights in the video including the music, the publishing and the video content itself.

Plays  Earnings  Per Play
2,023,295 $3,611.84 $0.00179
1,140,384 $2,155.69 $0.00189
415,341 $624.54 $0.00150
240,499 $371.47 $0.00154
221,078 $313.47 $0.00142
TOTALS TOTALS AVERAGE
4,040,597 $7,077.01 $0.00175

So it appears that YouTube is currently paying $1,750 per million plays gross.

We understand that people reading this may report other numbers, and that’s the point. There is no openness or transparency from either Spotify or YouTube on what type of revenue artists can expect to earn and under what specific conditions. So until these services provide openness and transparency to musicians and creators, “sharing” this type of data is going to be the best we’re going to be able to do as East Bay Ray comments in his interview with NPR.

As we’re now in a world where you need you need a million of anything to be meaningful here’s a benchmark of where YouTube ranks against Spotify.

Service  Plays  Per Play  Total  Notes 
Spotify To Performers/Master Rights 1,000,000 0.00521 $5,210.00 Gross Payable to Master Rights Holder Only
Spotify To Songwrtiers / Publishers This revenue is for the same 1m Plays Above 0.000521 $521.00 Gross Payable to Songwriter/s & Publisher/s (estimated)
YouTube Artist Channel 1,000,000 0.00175 $1,750.00 Gross Payable for All Rights Video, Master & Publishing
YouTube CMS (Adiam / AdRev) ** 1,000,000 0.00032 $321.00 Gross Payable to Master Rights Holder Only

The bottom line here is if we want to see what advertising supported free streaming looks like at scale it’s YouTube. And if these are the numbers artists can hope to earn with a baseline in the millions of plays it speaks volumes to the unsustainability of these models for individual creators and musicians.

Meet the New Boss: YouTube’s Monopoly on Video | MTP

It’s also important to remember that the pie only grows with increased revenue which can only come from advertising revenue (free tier) and subscription fees (paid tier). But once the revenue pool has been set, monthly, than all of the streams are divided by that revenue pool for that month – so the more streams there are, the less each stream is worth.

All adrev, streaming and subscription services work on the same basic models as YouTube (adrev) and Spotify (adrev & subs). If these services are growing plays but not revenue, each play is worth less because the services are paying out a fixed percentage of revenue every month divided by the number of total plays. Adding more subscribers, also adds more plays which means that there is less paid per play as the service scales in size.

This is why building to scale, on the backs of musicians who support these services, is a stab in the back to those very same artists. The service retains it’s margin, while the artists margin is reduced.

[** these numbers from a data set of revenue collected on over 8 million streams via CMS for an artist/master rights holder]

Here’s what 1 million streams looks like from different revenue perspectives on the two largest and mainstream streaming services.

Service  Units Per Unit  Total  Notes 
Spotify 1,000,000 $0.00521 $5,210.00 Gross Payable to Master Rights Holder Only
Spotify same million units as above $0.00052 $521.00 Gross Payable to Songwriter/s & Publisher/s (est)
YouTube 1,000,000 $0.00175 $1,750.00 Gross Payable for All Rights Video, Master & Publishing
YouTube CMS Master Recording (Audiam / AdRev) 1,000,000 $0.00032 $321.00 Gross Payable to Master Rights Holder Only
STREAMING TOTALS  3,000,000 $7,802.00 TOTAL REVENUE EARNED FOR 3 MILLION PLAYS ON SPOTIFY AND YOUTUBE 
Itunes Album Downloads 1,125 $7.00000 $7,875.00 Gross payable including Publishing

Here are some compelling stats on the break down of what percentage of videos on YouTube actually achieve breaking the 1 million play threshold, only 0.33%

CHART OF THE DAY: Half Of YouTube Videos Get Fewer Than 500 Views | Business Insider

Some 53% of YouTube’s videos have fewer than 500 views, says TubeMogul. About 30% have less than 100 views. Meanwhile, just 0.33% have more than 1 million views.

That’s not a huge surprise. But it highlights some of the struggles Google could have selling ads around all those unpopular videos, despite the money it has to spend to store them.

An artist needs to generate THREE MILLION PLAYS on the two largest and most popular streaming platforms to equal just 1,125 album downloads from Itunes. This is an important metric to put in context. In 2013 only 4.8% of new album releases sold 2,000 units or more. So if only 4.8% of artists can sell 2,000 units or more, how many artists can realistically generate over four million streams from the same album of material?

in 2013 there were 66,565 new releases, only 3,237 sold more than 2,000 units = 4.8% of new releases sold over 2,000 units

in 2013 there were 915,482 total releases in print, only 14,856 sold more than 2,000 units = 1.6% of ALL RELEASES in print sold more than 2,000 units.

This is even more important when you start to consider that many artists feel that growing a fan base of just 10,000 fans is enough to sustain a professional career. Note we said solo artists because these economics probably need to be multiplied by each band member added for the revenue distribution to remain sustainable. So a band of four people probably need a sales base of 40,000 fans to sustain a professional career for each member of the band.

Each 10,000 albums sold on iTunes (or 100,000 song downloads) generates $70,000 in revenue for the solo artist or band. To achieve the same revenue per 10,000 fans in streams, the band has to generate 30 million streaming plays (as detailed above) if they are distributing their music across the most common streaming services including Spotify and YouTube.

In 2013 the top 1% of new releases (which happen to be those 620 titles selling 20k units or more) totaled over 77% of the new release market share leaving the remaining 99% of new releases to divide up the remaining 23% of sales.

This appears to confirm our suspicion that the internet has not created a new middle class of empowered, independent and DIY artists but sadly has sentenced them to be hobbyists and non-professionals.

Meanwhile the major artists with substantial label backing dominate greater market share as they are the few who can sustain the attrition of a marketplace where illegally free and consequence free access to music remains the primary source of consumption.

What’s worse is that it is Silicon Valley corporate interests and Fortune 500 companies that are exploiting artists and musicians worse than labels ever did. New boss, worse than the old boss, indeed.

So whose feeling empowered?

RELATED:

UN to Airlift Calculators, Behavioral Economics Textbooks to Digital Music Industry

Streaming Is the Future, Spotify Is Not. Let’s talk Solutions.

Who will be the First Fired Label Execs over Spotify Fiasco & Cannibalization?

 

 

 

 

Some cold analysis of the YouTube-Indie labels story, and some long term reflections | Wildcat Blog

So what’s going on with Google, YouTube and Indie labels?

There’s been so much fuss, indies tearing their hair, lawyers trying to tone it down: I try to sum up the whole thing here for your delight and delectation.

Alright, this is not a music law blog. It is, however, a blog where law and music meet. So, here we go. If you don’t know the ante-fact, have a read here or here.

And there’s also this update that Google may be revising its position now.

Why is the contract so bad? Wait, is it really bad?

READ THE FULL POST AT WILDCAT BLOG:
http://blog.thewildcat.co.uk/post/91151130569/some-cold-analysis-of-the-youtube-indie-labels-story

Artists Take To The Streets to Protest Google/YouTube in NYC | NY Times

Last week, the dispute spilled out into the streets of New York. On Saturday afternoon, a few dozen supporters of the Content Creators Coalition, an artists’ advocacy group, picketed Google’s office in Chelsea, playing New Orleans-style marches on horns and carrying signs like “Economic justice in the digital domain” and “What YouTube pays? Nothing.”

Marc Ribot, a guitarist who has played with stars like Tom Waits and Elvis Costello, summarized how the larger conflict over streaming revenue affected artists’ careers.

“If we can’t make enough from digital media to pay for the record that we’ve just made,” Mr. Ribot said, “then we can’t make another one.”

READ THE FULL STORY AT THE NEW YORK TIMES:
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/25/business/media/small-music-labels-see-youtube-battle-as-part-of-war-for-revenue.html

YouTube’s Ultimatum and The Economic Survival Of Musicians | Hypebot

By copyright and intellectual property attorney Wallace E. J. Collins III, Esq..

The most serious problem facing the artist community is that, at some point, it becomes economically unfeasible to pursue a career as an artist, songwriter or musician. Of course, as has been the case for many decades, most musicians barely survived without the dreaded day job. However, this extreme downward pressure on the creators of original audio and audio/visual content may force matters to a breaking point the likes of which the creative community has never seen.

No kidding.

READ THE FULL STORY AT HYPEBOT:
http://www.hypebot.com/hypebot/2014/06/youtubes-ultimatum-and-the-economic-survival-of-musicians.html

Will YouTube really block indie labels if they snub its new music service? | The Guardian UK

Ugly dispute with indie labels is provoking anger online, so what are the facts – and rumours – about YouTube’s streaming plans?

The accusation from WIN, representing its independent label members, is clear: if labels don’t sign up for YouTube’s new paid music service at the (non-negotiable) terms, their entire catalogues will be blocked on YouTube – all of YouTube, not just the new premium bit.

Note too the “significantly inferior” terms reference in Wenham’s letter. At WIN’s press conference, songwriter (and Guardian journalist) Helienne Lindvall said that “We’re hearing that a billion dollars has been paid by YouTube to the major labels” in advances for its new service.

Some of the anger in this dispute is the perception by indie labels that their major rivals have inked lucrative deals with YouTube while leaving them with the crumbs.

That billion-dollar figure is hearsay, of course. But note that YouTube said in February that it had paid $1bn out to music rightsholders in royalties so far, and then consider Kyncl’s quote in the FT interview: “That number is going to double soon.”

READ THE FULL STORY AT THE GUARDIAN UK:
http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/jun/18/youtube-indie-labels-music-service

YouTube’s Attack On Indies Gets Strong Response From WIN, But It’s Time For Artists To Take Action | Hypebot

YouTube/Google and Amazon Are Using Their Power Against Creatives

If you’ve been watching the last 15 years or so of web development, you’ve seen a relatively wide open field of entrepreneurial potential gradually get taken over by major corporations in a manner similar to what occurred in industrial societies beginning in the late 1800s. They may be dropping fewer bodies than did the industrial giants but close-to-monopoly digital land grabs by companies like Google and Amazon have put them in a situation where they seem to feel that any terms they name are acceptable if they have the power to force compliance.

Amazon’s current battle with Hachette is but one example of how they’ve used their dominating position in book and ebook retail on the web to have their way with companies that are often struggling to survive.

YouTube’s dominance of the web video space sets up a similar near-monopoly situation in which they’re willing to use their position to behave in monopolistic fashion and force non-compliant entities into line.

READ THE FULL STORY AT HYPEBOT:
http://www.hypebot.com/hypebot/2014/06/youtubes-attack-on-indies-gets-strong-response-from-win-but-its-time-for-artists-to-take-action.html

YouTube’s DMCA Abuse and Indie Labels: How Google is Blowing it for the Honest People

Trichordist Editor:

* * MUST READ * * From Music Tech Daily

Originally posted on MUSIC • TECHNOLOGY • POLICY:

In a speech at Canadian Music Week, Beggars Group Chairman Martin Mills was not only right, he was prescient:

Google, the parent of YouTube, [is] one of the companies that have made billions on the back of [the DMCA notice and takedown,] a statutory provision intended to protect ordinary people acting innocently.

Google has now refined the DMCA to a tool to leverage its anticompetitive activities.  Here’s how it works.

1.  Google opens the YouTube platform to unauthorized “user generated content” and says to artists (literally in this case) “Does yuse wants to play whack a mole or make some dough?”  This is called the notice and shakedown.

2.  Google then jams a settlement down the throats of major labels and sticks it to everyone else.  Publishers are next.

3.  Google pays the lowest royalty online with a big advance to majors and spaghetti statements to everyone else that probably…

View original 326 more words

Merlin on YouTube music payouts: ‘Their figures are by far the worst’ | Music Ally

“The ironic thing is that the service that pays the least is the service that’s the most well funded and run by the biggest company in the world: their figures are by far the worst, whether you measure them on a per-stream basis or a per-user basis. I tend to get myself in trouble when I talk about that company…”

Hence his desire not to name them directly, but quote instead from an interview with Billy Bragg conducted by Music Ally earlier this year. “If we’re pissed off at Spotify, we should be marching to YouTube central with flaming pitchforks,” said Bragg – Caldas read this quote out before delivering his own pointed follow-up. “I can’t say Billy’s right, but I can say that he’s not wrong,” said Caldas.

READ THE FULL STORY HERE AT MUSIC ALLY:
http://musically.com/2014/04/30/merlin-youtube-music-payouts-charles-caldas/

RELATED:

What YouTube Really Pays… Makes Spotify Look Good!

Streaming Price Index : Now with YouTube pay rates!

Google/YouTube Said to Be Threatening Censorship Of Artists Videos | The Guardian UK

There is an interesting story breaking in the UK’s Guardian about negotiations between indie labels rights organization Worldwide Independent Network (WIN) and Google’s YouTube.

“Music industry trade association the Worldwide Independent Network (WIN) has accused YouTube of strong-arm negotiating tactics trying to force indie labels to sign up to the new service.

WIN, which represents independent labels worldwide, claims that YouTube is approaching labels directly with a “template contract” and threatening that if they do not sign it, all their music videos will be blocked on YouTube.”

Bring on the black out? How ironic would it be that Google would resort to content blocking as the champions of an open internet and freedom of speech online.

We can see it now…

This video has been removed by Google who chose not to compensate the creator fairly for their work. Sorry about that ;-(

READ THE FULL STORY AT THE GUARDIAN UK:
http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/may/22/indie-labels-youtube-subscription-music