Only 0.33% of YouTube Videos Generate 1 Million or more views… #SXSW

Only one third of one percent of all videos uploaded to YouTube generate 1m or more views. Tell us again about this internet empowerment…

Half Of YouTube Videos Get Fewer Than 500 Views | Business Insider

YouTube’s most-watched-video lists are full of viral hits and popular music videos. But the majority of videos uploaded to Google’s (GOOG) video site are hardly watched by anyone.

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.

And here’s another interesting stat, music is the #1 category accounting for over 30% of all views.

Inside YouTube Videos : Exploring YouTube videos and their use in blogosphere | Sysomos

Main highlights:

Music is the most popular category with 31% of all analyzed videos, followed by Entertainment (15%) and People & Blogs (11%).

There is no clear correlation between the rating of the video on YouTube and how often it is viewed. Videos with a rating more than 4 out of 5 usually have fewer views than those with medium rating score between 2 to 3.

Average length of a YouTube video is 4 minutes and 12 seconds.

The average number of views for the YouTube videos we analyzed is 99,160.

If there is an authoritative source of more current stats than these please let us know in the comments.

The “Chilling Effects” of YouTube’s Internet Censorship and Lack of Transparency

We’ve been watching with interest a story developing over at Digital Music News. The site ran a guest editorial by Jeff Price promoting his new YouTube Content Management System Collections Service, Audiam.

It’s interesting to note how Price targets distribution companies as the black hats but does not criticize YouTube for their less than stellar “Openess and Transparency” with artists. East Bay Ray of The Dead Kennedys spoke to NPR about his frustrations with Google.

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

“Holiday in Cambodia” by the punk band Dead Kennedys has been streamed on YouTube over 2.5 million times. Guitarist Raymond Pepperell — also known as East Bay Ray — says, overall, Dead Kennedys videos have been watched about 14 million times. But the band has only seen a few hundred dollars.

“I don’t know — and no one I know knows — how YouTube calculates the money”

It’s easy to see why so many readers took exception to Price’s understanding of how YouTube monetization works (or actually doesn’t). One of those people wrote a response to Price’s editorial, Emmanuel Zunz of ONErpm.

Why Jeff Price Is Horribly Misinformed About YouTube Monetization…

If I understand Audiam’s business model correctly (I have tested the service), it’s a pure Content ID play.  So here is my first point: Audiam states that they pay artists 100% of the revenues they collect for them from their own channel.  But by generating UGC claims on their channels that pay out at 35% instead of the Standard 55% an artist can get on their own, they are actually reducing the amount of money a musician can make through a Standard direct deal with YouTube.

What follows is the real story about the lack of transparency and openess that Google claims is essential to a “free and open” internet. You know, the kind of “free and open” internet where you make the music, movies, books, photos, etc and Google is “free and open” to monetize it without restriction. “Permissionless Innovation” yo!

So apparently when Zunz was being transparent and open (um, without permission) about Google/YouTube payments and policies in his response to Price he got a little to close to home in revealing Google family secrets. The result was a panicked Zunz contacting Digital Music News to remove, retract and/or otherwise redact the information that Zunz had made public. Oooopsies…

YouTube Demands the Removal of a Digital Music News Guest Post…

According to ONErpm, YouTube has demanded that the entire guest post – here – be ripped down, which would obliterate nearly 100 comments and the knowledgebase that comes with that (not to mention the detailed information in the post itself).

But the story doesn’t end there. Zunz had already written a second a highly detailed post for Digital Music News detailing how YouTube monetization actually works! Unfortunately that “Open and Transparent” post is not going to see the light of day in educating musicians about the actual mechanics, percentages and payments by YouTube.

YouTube Successfully Intimidates a DMN Guest Contributor…

It’s called “the chilling effect”…

Despite serious threats, YouTube has been unsuccessful at removing an earlier article on Digital Music News about confusing royalty payouts and specifics.  But what they have been successful at is preventing the next one: a 4,000+ word, highly-detailed essay on YouTube best practices and royalties, from a company highly-specialized in YouTube distribution.

The company simply got spooked, and asked that we not print the piece for fear of having their MCN status revoked by YouTube.  So here’s what artists, labels, publishers, startups, and the industry is missing as a result.

So the next time someone wants to talk about the benefits of a transparent, free and open internet based in permissionless innovation it might be worth while to send them this post. After all wasn’t it Google Chairman Eric Schmidt who said, “If You Have Something You Don’t Want Anyone To Know, Maybe You Shouldn’t Be Doing It“?

So when Google protects it’s interests it’s “business” but when musicians protect their rights it’s “censorship”.

Where are the defenders of internet freedom when you need them? The crusaders against internet censorship are silent…

Weekly News and Recap! Sun Aug 19, 2012

Grab the Coffee!

After a brief break the weekly news is back. We also encourage our readers to send us news and stories you discover that you’d like to share with other Trichordist readers. Send your submissions to:  the trichordist (one word) at mail dot com. That’s mail dot com, no “g”.

Recent Posts:
* BMW’s Response to Ads for Its Brands on Pirate Sites
* Isohunt: Bringing People Together on the Wall of Shame
* Mullets, Platform Shoes, Mack Daddies and Public Knowledge
* Dead Kennedy’s Exploited by Charter, Blizzard, Alaska Airlines and 1-800Flowers
* Dear American Express: Stop advertising on sites that illegally exploit my music.
* Free Pussy Riot Now! This is what Real CENSORSHIP Looks Like.
* Who Speaks For The Internet? Do Artists have No Voice Online?

Pussy Riot sentenced to Jail Time, where is the internet Protest and Black Out in response to Real Censorship?
– This is what real and true censorship and oppression looks like and the internet is oddly silent. As yet we’ve not seen the kind of outrage (and outage) sparked by both SOPA and ACTA, which protected artists rights against exploitation. It is sad and confusing that the internet freedom fighters such as Google, Wikipedia and others have not come to the aid of true oppression and censorship. But then again, Pussy Riot is experiencing their troubles in the real world, not online. This is a very important story and we urge all of our readers to educate themselves about it. Mark Levine writes for Al Jazeera, “There are hundreds of artists who perform under threat to their freedom and lives, who also deserve our solidarity.”
* Amnesty International
* Free Pussy Riot

Google changes search ranking policy, internet and tech blogosphere have fetal meltdown:
– Google announced that it will start dropping the rankings of sites with a history of infringement in it’s search rankings. We and many others have been advocating this for a long time. It is both encouraging and frustrating that these seemingly impossible policies (like youtube content management and audio fingerprinting) just make it appear to us that Google is the boy who cried wolf. That said we applaud Google, for these policy changes that have the tech blogosphere whining like a baby without a bottle. Let’s be clear about this, these policies are, have been and will be about money and Google’s best interest. Eric Goldman’s piece in Forbes is representative of the kind of fetal meltdown the Google faithful are experiencing, including the EFF. Politico noted Google’s stat that  of the 4.3 Million DMCA requests filed in one month, 97% we in fact infringing. We fully expect to see more inevitable policy changes along these lines in the future, let the screaming begin…

Related : Pirate Sites lose their cookies over Google’s policy change:
– Hmmm… it’s funny how when the pirates need to “adapt and evolve” how much whining we hear. Torrent Freak reports on how The Pirate Bay and Isohunt are in a defcon 4 panic because they know, like we do, once Google acknowledges that these sites are infringing we have started down the road to real progress for creators and artists.

Pirates eat their own in response to uTorrent’s announcement to include adware in the client:
– It never fails to amaze us how those infringing and exploiting artists feel they deserve to be paid for their labor, despite running a site that denies artists the ability to be compensated for their labor. We love this quote from one of the uTorrent developers reacting to the stream of criticisms, “µTorrent is an excellent application which comes for free, but you must understand that its development doesn’t. You just have no authority to sit in judgment over that.” Yes, please tell us more about the importance of being compensated for your labor…

Topspin’s Ian Rogers joins in letter arguing against the protection of Artists Rights:
– We like Ian Rogers alotl. Readers of The Trichordist will know that we frequently refer to Ian’s awesome post-sopa editorial on hypebot calling for non-legislative, cooperative solutions between the tech and content industries in the form of a content database and registry. It is with great disappointment that we saw Ian’s signature on a letter with many people who aggressively campaign against artists rights from the illegal exploitation of their work and fair compensation online. I’m not sure what artists are using Topspin these days, but it gives us pause when the CEO is so aligned with those who are seemingly so opposed to artists rights.

Controversial Tunecore CEO Jeff Price has exited the company:
– We can’t say that we’re surprised. We love Jeff for his passionate and unapologetic opinions about the record industry but often wondered about the accuracy of his perception. Jeff no doubt has done a lot of good on behalf of artists at Tunecore, but also was a bit too defensive and combative when called upon to engage in serious conversations about the reality of life for musicians in the piracy age. Jeff missed the mark and missed the point with an ill informed abusive rant aimed at the widely embraced “Letter To Emily” by David Lowery here on the Trichordist. We believe Tunecore offer a great service to many musicians, but the model would appear to have a glass ceiling. Only so many people are going to keep renewing fees for a service from which they can not recoup those fees, and/or the actual costs to make, market and promote an album. We always thought Jeff would have been better served understanding the real enemy of artists in the 21st Century is for profit piracy and not the major labels (which he oddly defends in the case of Spotify). We hope wherever Jeff lands he will have learned from this experience and continue to be a vocal advocate for artists rights.

Red State reports on the state of the Internet Policy:
– We’re always encouraged to see the issues facing artists and creators reaching a wider audience and greater awareness. Neil Stevens reports in this post from Red State on how Google still makes good money off of slavery and copyright infringement, the ever changing stories told by Kim Dotcom, and comments that Anonymous hasn’t gotten past banging on the table and screaming for what they want: free stuff, legal or not.

AdLand reports on how major brand advertising appears on sites with infringing content exploiting artists:
– We highly recommend checking the AdLand website. A lot of very useful and informative info. We like their no holds barred attitude in addressing the inequities happening online.

Things we like to see, Fair Trade Music Seattle:
– We hope to see more organizations like this for musicians and artists rights. We been saying for a while that people are willing to pay more for fair trade coffee once they’ve been educated, so fair trade music should benefit from the same philosophy to benefit working musicians.

What do Aimee Mann, Neko Case, Talib Kweli all have in common? Tune in this week and find out…
– Starting this week, we’ll be exploring the real word effects of the exploitation economy as we look at how brands, agencies and ad networks appear to be benefiting from the infringing and illegal exploitation of not only artists work in their music, but also the artists name and brand itself.

Reader Comment of the Week:
– This week’s user comment is from Bill Rosenblatt in response to the post Who Speaks For The Internet? Do Artists have No Voice Online? in which we discuss the parties who claim to speak for everyone online. Bill’s comment, “As for Mike Masnick, he’s the Rush Limbaugh of the Internet – he and his Dirtoheads…”

Grooveshark On The Hook : Notice and Shakedown

We salute Tunecore CEO Jeff Price who recently called for a boycott of Grooveshark on his company Blog. This after a series of articles from varied and respected media outlets such as Digital Music News, Hypebot, Billboard, and others who have been reporting on Grooveshark’s unethical practices against artists and the resulting lawsuit by the major labels.

But this isn’t just about major labels, it’s also about indie artists and labels who have been victim to Grooveshark’s practices for years. Just one example is from Helienne Lindvall who detailed her attempts to have her music removed from the site in painstaking detail, to no avail. Later we’ll show how other artists and labels experience is exactly the same as hers.

Grooveshark illustrates the failing of the DMCA by creating an incentive to build a business on infringement. Previously YouTube did it and that practice is now at the center of the recently appealed, billion dollar lawsuit with Viacom. At the heart of the matter is ethics.

The DMCA was designed to protect Internet Service Providers (ISPs) from liability if they had no knowledge of infringing material. The DMCA was also designed to provide protection for artists to have their work removed from an ISP (website, etc) if it was discovered to be there. In other words, the DMCA was drafted to give a little latitude to reasonable people acting reasonably and to empower artists to protect their rights without having to file a federal copyright lawsuit.

Grooveshark, like YouTube before it, has exploited this loophole in an attempt to build a business on infringement. The attraction of this business model is substantial as there are no licenses, fees or negotiations and no artist royalty payments, ever. All they have to do is plead ignorance, and wait for the DMCA notices to come in. And, once the notices come in, just wait for another user to upload the same material again. And so it goes on and on; the DMCA dance of death until artists are too exhausted or broke to continue.

The really insidious part of the Grooveshark model is representative of the old saying, “It’s better to ask for forgiveness later, than to ask for permission.” This is also known as “negotiation via lawsuit.” Grooveshark’s strategy appears to be: lure in artists as they seek to have their illegally exploited work removed, and then try to get the artist to sign a license agreement. This heavy handed approach has been aptly titled, “Notice and Shakedown.” Thankfully, a lot of artists are smart enough to question such shady practices.

We know of at least one indie label who when they contacted Grooveshark to take down offending material were met with the smarmy onslaught and the hard sell.  You can see the pitch here in the first sentence of a DMCA query on the site.

“If your music was posted up without your permission and you’d like to have it removed, please click here to access our DMCA takedown form — we highly recommend, however, that you contact us first to talk about ways that Grooveshark can fairly compensate you for your music!”

Ah, yeah right. Exploit my work, then try to negotiate with me (using fuzzy math based on Spotify model) about how much you are not going to pay! At least Spotify is legal, and I can actually remove my titles. But it doesn’t end there.

“You have full control over all songs in music catalogue. This includes the option of removing them all together. It only takes a minute just follow these steps:”

Uh, yeah, ok, but keep in mind at this point, Grooveshark is only helping me to “manage my catalog” which just happens to be on the site illegally. Also removing the songs via their “rights management” system avoids a DMCA takedown. The entire set up of Grooveshark is to engage artists and content owners in a conversation to negotiate with Grooveshark, on Grooveshark’s terms because guess what, they already have your music illegally, and they’re not paying you. But wait there’s more…

“Currently, songs can only be removed one at a time – we’re sorry if this is an inconvenience. Please let us know if you need any help along the way”

Yes, you can help me. You can remove my catalog from your site that I didn’t give you permission to profit from by monetizing it against advertising. And the way to do that is to click on the DMCA form for a proper take down. Of course, you’d hope this would be the case, but unfortunately not so as witnessed by this report on Digital Music News from famed guitar legend Robert Fripp which is nearly identical to that of Helienne Lindvall. Even classical indie artist Zoe Keating could not get her music removed from the site after issuing at least six DMCA notices to Grooveshark.

As if all this we’re not bad enough CNET reported on internal emails that show how Grooveshark was intentionally using the illegal exploitation of artists work as the basis for it’s business model. Unfortunately, not everyone sees this practice as deceitful and unethical; TechDirt has rallied to support Grooveshark despite serious complaints dating back to 2009 by indie label DashGo.

Ultimately we’re encouraged that one of the things the internet is really good at is sharing information. As more artists become educated about their rights, and how they are being exploited, we can see that they are speaking out against these unethical attacks to their livelihood.