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want to participate for various reasons, what we basically have to do is because the music terms are essentially like outdated, the content that you directly upload from accounts that you own under the content owner attached to the agreement, we’ll have to block that content.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

Zoë Keating vs YouTube: The End of an Artist’s Right to Choose Where Their Music Appears on The Internet.

This is a call to action folks.

Many of you may already be aware of this blog post from  Zoë Keating detailing the new terms of the Google/YouTube “Music Key” service.  YouTube’s “communications manager” Matt McLernon has followed the Spotify approach and attacked Zoë Keating’s story as “patently false” although it looks like Google is not exactly backing up their “communications manager“.

I’m pretty sure that Google is not truthful about their conversation with Zoë–you know Google’s lying when their lips are moving–if for no other reason than I believe Zoë’s notes of her conversation with Google are accurate.  Not to mention that the description of the Music Key deal points from Zoë’s notes shows Google tying the YouTube and Music Key deals together in pretty much the same way as the Music Key deal that Google threatened indie labels with last year.

But I’m not sure if the mainstream press understands the consequences of the way Google has tied together the aggressive and anti-competitive terms of service for Music Key with YouTube.

Here’s how Zoë Keating describes these new terms for Music Key:

“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 [i.e., user generated] will be automatically included in the music service, too [i.e, Google’s Music Key streaming service]. 

2) All songs will be set to “montetize”, meaning there will be ads on them [and the artist has no choice in the matter].

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.”

Why is this so terrible?

1)  YouTube allows certain artists and labels with special YouTube accounts to have access to its ContentID system.  ContentID tracks user generated content and allows artists to monetize or block that content in an automated way.  While YouTube creates a whack a mole problem by indiscriminately allowing user generated content to be posted on YouTube, ContentID provides a very imperfect solution to the problem that YouTube created.

This is important because the new terms that are being forced on artists like Zoë ties access to the Content ID system to participation in the new Music Key service.  Artists who refuse to participate in the new Music Key service would lose the ability to “monetize” (i.e. earn revenue) from the use of their songs on YouTube.  Further, artists who reject the Music Key deal would no longer be able to block unauthorized uploads of their music on YouTube–unless the artists track down each upload and send a separate DMCA notice.

What Zoe was told is pretty much exactly what the indie labels were told last year according to Rich Bengloff of A2IM:

Our members have been informed that if they do not sign up to these revised terms, YouTube has given notice to them that YouTube will remove/block our members’ and their artists’ musical repertoire from the entire YouTube service, not just the new audio music streaming service. As YouTube is one of the leading music outlets the effect on our members on the promotion and monetization of their artists will be severe as the premium videos our members create will be blocked and the User Generated Content videos created by consumers using our members artists’ music will cease to be monetized via advertising. Our members will then be forced to engage in the “whack-a-mole” process of getting these non-monetized videos off of YouTube, so as not to detract attention from services that are paying our Independent members, as was not anticipated when Congress enacted the DMCA in 1998.

In other words by saying “no” to Music Key, YouTube will still feature user generated videos on their service AND you won’t get any money.  Think about it. This is like saying “no” to a record deal but results in the label having your songs forever and paying you nothing!   YouTube is EVIL.

2) Because the new terms dictate that ALL your music must be available on YouTube as soon as you release it somewhere else,  there are no more exclusives! Your music cannot appear on the Internet anywhere unless it’s also on YouTube.   Why?  Because YouTube thinks they can use its monopoly position to enforce this tying deal against independent artists.

+++++++++++

On Cracker’s last album Berkeley to Bakersfield, we were able to do interesting cross promotions with our album precisely because we could offer exclusives to various services in different windows.   For instance, we gave Rolling Stone the exclusive rights to stream a song for one week.  In exchange, we were featured on the front page of Rolling Stone Country.  We also cut a deal with Amazon Prime to stream our entire album exclusively for one week in advance of the record release.  In exchange, our album received  favorable promotion and placement  across the entire Amazon service.  Both of these exclusives were key parts of the strategy to promote and sell our new album.   The YouTube Music Key service undermines this exclusivity to block us from exploiting these windows on our next album.

While it’s tempting to see Zoë’s experience as just another way that streaming services are screwing artists, notice that we haven’t even talked about the horrendously low royalty that YouTube pays.  That’s a complaint for another day.

Today, the issue is different.  Google is imposing dangerous anti-competitive moves on artists to screw over the artist’s fans and Google’s competitors.   This move will reduce competition and give artists and consumers less choice.

I believe that this is a dangerous precedent and should be examined by the Federal Trade Commission.  I urge you to write the FTC and ask them to look into this matter.  I understand that you can reach the chair of the FTC at this email address:  hstevenson@ftc.gov

Here’s what I’m writing:

Chairwoman Edith Ramirez and Director Bureau of Competition Deborah L. Feinstein
Federal Trade Commission
600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20580

Dear Chairwoman Ramirez and Director Feinstein:

I’m writing to call your attention to Google’s anticompetitive business practices described by cellist and independent artist Zoë Keating in her viral blog post What Should I Do About Youtube? that has been reported in The Guardian, Die Zeit, Online, Hypebot, Gizmodo, Forbes, Digital Music News and many other news channels.

Google is using its monopoly market power to force independent artists to grant terms to Google’s “Music Key” service by tying the Music Key to its YouTube video service.  As I’m sure you know, a substantial number of videos on YouTube are music videos and YouTube is the largest video search platform in the world.  By forcing terms onto independent artists, I believe that many artists are being duped into agreeing to terms for the Music Key service that grotesquely favor Google without understanding the implications.

I understand that Google is conducting a whisper campaign with journalists in an attempt to discredit Zoë Keating as was documented in Digital Music News, because she merely questioned the fairness of Google’s terms.

As I understand it, the key anticompetitive terms that Google is attempting to tie to its YouTube service are:

1.  Those artists who fail to submit to Google’s oppressive terms for Music Key will have their produced videos removed from YouTube;

2.  If artists agree to submit to the Music Key terms, Google requires that they give up the valuable property right to exclusively window their releases on different platforms because Google requires that all releases be made simultaneously on YouTube and Music Key with any other service;

3.  All of the artist’s catalog must be set to “monetize” which means that Google can sell advertising against all of the videos whether the artist wants it or not;

4.  If the artist does not submit to Google’s Music Key terms, then user generated videos of the artist’s work will be allowed to play on YouTube while the artist’s produced videos will be blocked from YouTube; and

5.  Artists who do not submit to Google’s terms for MusicKey will be prohibited from using YouTube’s ContentID system so will be forced to rely on the hopelessly outdated DMCA notice and takedown system rather than the automated take down available through ContentID.

Independent artists have no way to take on anticompetitive behavior by Google in the courts.  We rely on the government to force companies like Google to play fair.  I urge you to look into this matter immediately as every day more artists are being duped into signing these unfair deals with no more choice than our fans have to negotiate Google’s onerous privacy policy.

Zoë Keating’s experience is emblematic of all of us and I implore you to listen to her voice.

Thank you.

David Lowery

 

 

* MUST READ * YouTube’s Heartbreaking Extortion Of Musicians Begins… | Zoë Keating Explains New Rules

Below is the opener, after that – it gets worse…

“My Google Youtube rep contacted me the other day. They were nice and took time to explain everything clearly to me, but the message was firm: I have to decide. I need to sign on to the new Youtube music services agreement or I will have my Youtube channel blocked.
This new music service agreement covers my Content ID account and it includes mandatory participation in Youtube’s new subscription streaming service, called Music Key, along with all that participation entails. Here are some of the terms I have problems with:

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.”

Seriously the whole post is an absolute must read, in full, probably at least two or three times to have it all sink in.

READ THE FULL POST ON ZOE KEATING’S BLOG:
http://zoekeating.tumblr.com/post/108898194009/what-should-i-do-about-youtube

Musicians fear they’ll take a beating | Winnipeg Free Press

SAN FRANCISCO — Recording artist Zoe Keating only needs to look at her earnings to zero in on why she has misgivings about Apple Inc. buying Beats Electronics.

The cellist made $38,196 selling downloads on Apple’s iTunes last year, along with about $34,000 from three other download services. By contrast, five streaming outlets, from Spotify to Pandora Media, netted her just $6,381.

READ THE FULL STORY AT THE WINNIPEG FREE PRESS:
http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/arts-and-life/entertainment/music/musicians-fear-theyll-take-a-beating-261411471.html

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

Is this the future of music? We continue to look at more artist revenue streams.

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]

RELATED:

Streaming Price Index Updated 2014 : Per Stream Pay Rates

Music Streaming Math, Can It All Add Up?

YouTube Shares Ad Revenue With Musicians, But Does It Add Up? | NPR

UNSOUND @SXSW Meet Filmmaker Mikael (Count) Eldridge #SXSW

Filmmaker, producer and musician Mikael (Count) Eldridge will be speaking at SXSW Monday about new tech, start ups, and the impact on creators.

http://schedule.sxsw.com/2014/events/event_OE02908

Monday, March 10  | 2:00PM – 3:00PM
Austin Convention Center | Next Stage EH 3/4
500 E Cesar Chavez St

From the forthcoming documentary Unsound: Bad Religion guitarist and Epitaph Records founder Brett Gurewitz talks about how large tech corporations make millions of dollars selling advertising- essentially making people the product, without them even realizing. The promise of free or cheap music is often used to draw eyeballs to websites, apps, and social networking platforms, allowing corporations to make large amounts of money from advertising. The public is generally unaware and happy to have free/cheap music, corporations make tons of money from advertising, but how is the musician benefiting from this?

LEARN MORE HERE:
https://www.facebook.com/unsoundthemovie

Unsound uncovers the dramatic collapse of the music industry and its impact on musicians and creators of all kinds trying to survive in the ‘age of free’.

RELATED:

“Zoe Keating on How Big Business Wins…”| UNSOUND Little Cast

Reality for Indie Artists : Zoë Keating’s Annual Music Sales & Streaming Data @SXSW #SXSW

Zoë Keating released her Annual Music Sales & Streaming Data Spreadsheet a little bit ago and we stayed out of the fray, although we did also publish an update of the Music Streaming Price Index for 2014 as well.

This quote from Zoë in a follow up post about her open and transparent sharing of information on Hypebot got our attention.

I want you to know that I don’t release these numbers as a marketing tool. I’ve always tabulated stuff as part of doing my annual accounting and last year I decided to make a portion of them public. Music commentators were saying, over and over, that artists are not making a living selling music, they make all their money touring, etcetera etcetera. I noted that in my case that wasn’t true and never had been. In the commentary I wasn’t seeing a lot of actual numbers from artists and thought I’d offer some details of how it all works for me: a non-labeled artist whose career has existed entirely in the internet-age.

It’s curious to us that someone would insinuate the motivation behind sharing information in an open, human and transparent way was an attempt at self serving marketing. Shame on those who have made such comments. Zoë should be celebrated for doing what the interweb companies claim to do, and ask others to do, but do not do themselves.

We also found the following statement to be true of our experience of the vast number of artists we hear from who report similar experiences with streaming services ranging from Spotify to YouTube. These services only financially serve the very large artists and the very large labels. In other words, Spotify, YouTube and the like have not empowered artists towards financial freedom and very well appear to be achieving the very opposite.

Meanwhile yes, the big money is to be made at the top of the tail…and therein lies the promise of commercial music streaming services. It will be financially valuable to those who make hits and those who aggregate legions of artists. For a single artist like me commercial streaming will never be more than promo. I accept that. But will keep talking about it until streaming companies do more to make that promo more useful (i.e data).

But there appears to be more to this story. In this recently posted video clip by “Unsound” documentary  filmmaker Mikeal Eldridge, Zoë reveals that she has dug a bit deeper into the realities of streaming economics noting that the more streams that are served, the less the artists makes per stream. Again, this is consistent with her observation that “the promise of commercial music streaming services… will be financially valuable to those who make hits and those who aggregate legions of artists.”

We’ve yet to see anyone propose how streaming can actually scale and be sustainable for artists. We love streaming services, what we don’t like are the economics.

92% of Zoë’s recording income is from transactional digital sales. If these streaming businesses are claiming to be the future, the question to ask is whose future?

Downloads Streams Total % Downloads
$75,341 $6,380 $81,721 92%

RELATED:

Music Streaming Math, Can It All Add Up?

Why Spotify is not Netflix (But Maybe It Should Be)

Musicians POV: Spotify Isn’t Good for You – Full Post

On Spotify (and Why I’m not a Conspiracy Theorist After All) | Tape Op

The real reason why the major labels love Spotify | Guardian UK

UNSOUND : Zoe Keating Interview : Part 1 [VIDEO]

Zoe explains her background and how she became a DIY artist. She also explains how streaming services like Spotify don’t work out so well for independent artists.

 

 
RELATED:

Musicians POV : 1,000 True Fans (an answer)

If the Internet is working for Musicians, Why aren’t more Musicians Working Professionally?

Music Streaming Math, Can It All Add Up?

The music industry may be streaming towards a cliff | Business Spectator

In August the cellist Zoe Keating published a spreadsheet of her earnings from various streaming sites. In the first half of 2013 she scored 232,000 streams, for which she was paid $906.41.

I used the word “legitimate” above because by far the biggest “publisher” of music is BitTorrent, which is simply the internet protocol for enabling peer to peer sharing of files, and the foundation of Napster’s many successors. Some people I know have zettabytes of music and movies they have downloaded; BitTorrent has been estimated to account for as much as 70 per cent of all global internet traffic.

READ THE FULL POST AT THE BUSINESS SPECTATOR:
http://www.businessspectator.com.au/article/2013/10/9/information-technology/music-industry-may-be-streaming-towards-cliff

Thom Yorke, Trent Reznor and a Chorus of Artists Speak Out For An Ethical and Sustainable Internet

Perhaps 2013 will be the year that we see as the tipping point in artists rights advocacy for an ethical and sustainable internet. There have been more artists speaking up vocally this year than we can remember over the last decade. The hangover from an excess of hope that the internet would empower musicians has begun to set in as the evidence of more, and worse exploitation becomes increasingly obvious every day.

Radiohead’s Thom Yorke noted his realization about Google and other big tech companies.

“[Big Tech] have to keep commodifying things to keep the share price up, but in doing so they have made all content, including music and newspapers, worthless, in order to make their billions. And this is what we want?

“We were so into the net around the time of Kid A,” he says. “Really thought it might be an amazing way of connecting and communicating. And then very quickly we started having meetings where people started talking about what we did as ‘content’. They would show us letters from big media companies offering us millions in some mobile phone deal or whatever it was, and they would say all they need is some content. I was like, what is this ‘content’ which you describe? Just a filling of time and space with stuff, emotion, so you can sell it?”

Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor has also been outspoken this year commenting first on streaming services, and then later on the value of music.

“I know that what we’re doing flies in the face of the Kickstarter Amanda-Palmer-Start-a-Revolution thing, which is fine for her, but I’m not super-comfortable with the idea of Ziggy Stardust shaking his cup for scraps. I’m not saying offering things for free or pay-what-you-can is wrong. I’m saying my personal feeling is that my album’s not a dime. It’s not a buck. I made it as well as I could, and it costs 10 bucks, or go fuck yourself.”

Jerry Cantrell of Alice In Chains refused to play new songs in the bands live set until the new album is released to protect the integrity of the bands work.

“Well, in the old days – if you start out with ‘in the old days,’ you’re totally an old f–k – you were able to play a lot more stuff live,” Cantrell tells Spin magazine. “But with the advent of the Internet and sharing and shit going everywhere, you can’t do that anymore. We really haven’t been playing anything off the new record that’s not out yet. We’ve been playing ‘Hollow‘ and ‘Stone,’ and now that it’s going to be released, we’re thinking about whipping out ‘Phantom Limb‘ and maybe a few more.”

Quincy Jones discussed his legacy and the challenges presented for new artists in an environment of unprecedented piracy.

What’s sad is that there is 98 percent music piracy everywhere on the planet. It’s just terrible. What if these kids (who download music illegally) worked for me for two months and then I said, “I’m not going to pay you.” That’s just not right.

Aimee Mann brought a lawsuit against a digital distributor.

Guy Marchais of the band Suffocation showed fans how to buy a CD and explained the importance of supporting artists with legal purchases.

Marc Ribot of Ceramic Dog (and sideman for Tom Waits) took up the battle against Ad Funded Piracy.

We don’t know what the ultimate solution is — but we know it isn’t the impoverishment of musicians and defunding music. And we know it isn’t pretending that no-one is being hurt. Corporations are making huge profits from the ads on ‘free’ sites, from selling the hard and software that make illegal downloading possible.

Austin band Quiet Company noted their disappointment after an internet marketing partnership experiment.

““After everything, I’m not sure there is a new model. The old model is still the model, it’s just that the Internet made it way worse.”

East Bay Ray of the Dead Kennedys noted who is making money and who is not at SF Music Tech.

“There’s opportunists on the Internet that have taken advantage of the artists, [they’re] giving a free ride on a carnival horse, but they’re starving the horse.”

Zoe Keating spoke to the NY Times about how artists in certain genre’s such as classic and jazz maybe condemmed to poverty in the new digital economy without better mechanisms in place.

“In certain types of music, like classical or jazz, we are condemning them to poverty if this is going to be the only way people consume music.”

Blake Morgan went public with an email exchange between him and Tim Westergren over Pandora’s attempts to reduced already low royalties to artists.

I hear you when you say you’re “seeking a balanced structure that allows musicians to generously participate in the business.” But respectfully –– and this is quite important –– musicians are what your business is built on.

Without us, you don’t have a business.

Victoria Aitken wrote about the effects of piracy on EDM artists.

“The Internet pirates have made me, and thousands of other musicians, walk the plank. We now have to swim in shark-infested waters where the big fish gobble up our dues and the pirates laugh their way to the bank.

I believe this basic injustice must be remedied – Internet pirates are white-collar criminals. They should pay the royalties they have stolen or be answerable to the law, like looters, burglars, and fraudsters.”

Pink Floyd expressed their feelings about Pandora and digital royalty rates for the next generation of musicians.

It’s a matter of principle for us. We hope that many online and mobile music services can give fans and artists the music they want, when they want it, at price points that work. But those same services should fairly pay the artists and creators who make the music at the core of their businesses.

Martha Reeves also explained the importance to continue to work towards fair royalties for artists in the new digital economy.

Musicians should be paid a fair value for their work and all digital services should play by the same rules. These are just common sense ideas, and once Congress adopts them as law, future generations will wonder why we ever struggled over them. But that’s why we must keep struggling – until justice is done.

Shawn Drover drummer for Megadeth responded to a question asking if the band had been effected by piracy.

Of course it is. We are certainly thrilled to have a #6 record on Billboard in America and #4 in Canada, but sales are way down for the entire music industry right across the board, which is a real drag. Internet piracy, torrent sites and all that are the reason why. Concert attendance for us is still great around the world, so we are definitely happy about that.