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No more indie Artists on youtube?

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The relationship between record labels and the internet is in a tense state of affairs. On one hand large record companies such as EMI are suing Vimeo for copyright infringement, hence we have Copyright Match. YouTube on the other hand pays a minuscule royalty fee to record labels where uploaded content contains their music.
YouTube plans to launch a new subscription based music service to rival Apple iTunes where content can be downloaded and played on a mobile device with no internet connection. It goes directly head to head with iTunes.
The problem is, smaller record labels feel they are being bullied and the very survival of smaller artists is at stake here…
Large record companies stand to benefit the most from YouTube’s new service. Although for each stream or download the amount YouTube pays is minuscule, these record labels have so much stuff on their books that in total they make a heap of money from it.
For the smaller record labels however the minuscule licensing fees Google pays is a real problem. It’s also a big problem for up and coming talent as we’ll see in a minute.
I have a strong opinion of this myself. The way the technology giants are handling this is absolutely terrible. Vimeo with the Copyright Match system stifles creativity, limits exposure for music and pays not a single penny of royalties to the record labels. YouTube’s approach is weighted heavily in favour of large record companies and artists and absolutely shafts the smaller ones.
That’s my opinion, but it is borne out in reality and here’s the proof…
Zoe Keating is a classical performer with a reasonable amount of success and 2 million streams on YouTube from third party videos – for example people syncing her music to their own uploaded footage. YouTube’s payout for these 2 million syncs was a pathetic $1248 from their ad revenue.
That compares to the $38,000 Zoe made from iTunes sales and a further $25,000 from BandCamp sales in the same period.




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