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Google Releases Study Defending YouTube's Value To Music Biz; Trade Bodies Hit Back (billboard.com) 80

The ongoing tussle between YouTube and the music industry took a new turn this week when Google assured everyone that its video platform doesn't have any negative impact on the other streaming music services -- despite all the free music it offers. From a report: A Google-commissioned report into how YouTube impacts on the wider music economy has -- somewhat unsurprisingly -- found that the hugely popular, yet much-maligned platform significantly drives sales and stops users from visiting pirate music services. According to a European study carried out by RBB Economics, if music content was removed from YouTube around 85 percent of the time that users spend on the platform would switch to lower value channels, such as TV, radio or internet radio. RBB claimed there would also be a significant increase in time spent listening to pirated content (up 29 percent), while only 15 percent of heavy users, defined as someone who watches more than 20 hours of music videos per month, would switch to higher value offerings like subscription streaming services. In the U.K., that number increases to 19 percent; in France it's 12 percent. [...] In response, music trade bodies poured scorn on the paper's findings. "Google's latest publicity push once again seeks to distract from the fact that YouTube, essentially the world's largest on-demand music service, is failing to license music on a fair basis and compensate artists and producers properly by claiming it is not liable for the music it is making available," reads a statement from IFPI. "Services like YouTube, that are not licensing music on fair terms, hinder the development of a sustainably healthy digital music market," claimed the international trade body, repeating its regular call for tighter regulation around safe harbour licensing.
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Google Releases Study Defending YouTube's Value To Music Biz; Trade Bodies Hit Back

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    Maybe artists could career change into a field with less chances of having their work pirated, like, software development.

  • Ifs and maybes... (Score:4, Informative)

    by jhoegl ( 638955 ) on Friday May 12, 2017 @01:28PM (#54406601)
    Its out of the box, there is no putting Music back on old platforms like radio and TV and controlling the releases like they used to. Seems odd the music industry is fighting it.
    • Its out of the box, there is no putting Music back on old platforms like radio and TV and controlling the releases like they used to. Seems odd the music industry is fighting it.

      Perhaps it shouldn't seem odd that the music industry is fighting this.

      Back in the day, they didn't exactly sit around and do nothing when someone would let new music "out of the box" by ripping a CD or DVD and putting it out there for the masses to download for free...

      • They also didn't sit around and do nothing when VCRs became affordable and people started copying tapes or recording stuff from TV. They tried to ban them. Of course, that didn't go very far.

    • by dave562 ( 969951 )

      They are not trying to put music back in the box. They are telling Google that Google needs to pay for the content.

      As much as I dislike RIAA, they are right in this case. If a song plays on the radio, the artist gets paid. If a song is used in a movie, commercial or otherwise broadcast, the artist gets paid. But if a song is played on Google / YouTube, the artist DOESN'T get paid.

      My understanding is that Google is trying to make the argument that, "Even though we are playing the song for the user, by vi

      • by gnick ( 1211984 )

        If the RIAA says the latest Top 40 track is worth X, it is worth X.

        Slapping a price tag on something doesn't change its worth. It's worth what somebody will pay for it. All the RIAA can change is their asking price.

        • by dave562 ( 969951 )

          Let's use a grocery store then. If you can walk into a grocery store and take all of the food you want, does that make the food worthless? Does that make the price that the store is asking for it wrong?

          • by gnick ( 1211984 )

            There are different categories of worth. If the most the store could charge for food and get people to buy it is $0.00, then the food has no monetary worth. A child's love has no monetary worth, but that doesn't mean people don't value it. In fact, if you try to monetize that, there are some specific charges.

            If the price tag says something other than $0.00 and the store is charging $0.00, of course something's wrong. I really don't get where you're going with this analogy.

            • by dave562 ( 969951 )

              I am going to the place where you realize that your position of "things being worth what people will pay for them" is flawed.

              The only reason that works on the internet is because there are too many people doing it, and not enough enforcement to prevent them from doing it. People are inherently selfish. Look at any toddler and you will know the truth of that. Through socialization, we form a society with some rules and structures.

              I used the grocery store as an analogy because it is something that everyone

              • by gnick ( 1211984 )

                You seem like the kind of person who never really created anything unique. If you had, you would not be making the inane arguments that you are. You probably have never had any valuable skills that people were willing to you to teach them either. If you do, you would understand that your time is valuable.

                If the most people are willing to pay me to teach them is zero, then that skill has no monetary value. I made money teaching math in a college Learning Assistance Center. That's not the same thing - The center was willing to pay me and the students we ok diverting part of their tuition for the purpose. Value of free time goes back to the value of a child's love - Not the value of goods in a grocery store.

      • ...While the RIAA may suck, this is still America and producers get to set their prices. If the RIAA says the latest Top 40 track is worth X, it is worth X.

        How ironic that the greedy mentality of it's-worth-what-we-say-it-is, is part of the entire reason people choose not to support it. No wonder they call themselves the MAFIAA.

        People need and want music. People also need and want transportation. Maybe the car analogy is more like the RIAA is a gasoline company who got too fucking greedy, and someone established another method of transportation (EV), to avoid needing to paying a lot of middlemen obscene markups for gas.

        Soon, gasoline will be an unnecessary

        • by dave562 ( 969951 )

          Except your analogy sucks because nobody has created alternative music content. Or the content that has been created, people do not want.

          For whatever reason, people want that Top 40 crap. They want the MTV crap. I am not part of that demographic, but the demographic is huge. There is a cost to access that content.

          Here in America, you either pay the cost, or you do without it. Or you break the law and steal it. Downloading music, streaming it without paying the artist, whatever are theft. I say this a

          • Except your analogy sucks because nobody has created alternative music content. Or the content that has been created, people do not want.

            For whatever reason, people want that Top 40 crap. They want the MTV crap. I am not part of that demographic, but the demographic is huge. There is a cost to access that content.

            The cost to access said crap is mandated by those who feel others are muscling in on their action. Sites like bandcamp support artists coming out who now represent themselves, and are exactly how we have in fact created alternative ways of obtaining music content. Giving it away for free in order to draw fans and make money through live gigs is another method in use these days. Or pressing it on vinyl for fans that have no idea how to even use and yet still buy a $30 piece of limited-edition plastic as a

      • To use a car analogy, music listeners are cars owners and the RIAA is a gasoline company. YouTube is the gas station. Right now, the gas station is directly connected to the oil refinery and they are filling up the cars of anyone who pulls into the gas station.

        Not quite true. When a gas station fills up a car and the car drives away, the gas is consumed - it's physically gone from the refinery. When a song is played on YouTube, (or even downloaded), the original recording still exists. Nothing physical has changed hands, and the original 'owner' or custodian of the song hasn't lost anything except an abstract, intangible opportunity. The advent of digital media has simply turned what might be called a 'natural scarcity', (the expense and difficulty of faithfully

      • by Luthair ( 847766 )
        The RIAA has the option to not upload their content to YouTube and to use Google's contentid system to block user uploads if they don't like the rates offered.
  • The "music industry" will not be happy until they get _ALL_ the money in the world.
    Anything else is "unfair" to them.

  • There is no 'claim' the safe harbor explicitly makes them not liable for content uploaded by users. In fact YouTube goes above and beyond doing content-id and allowing the music industry to take revenue or block videos.
  • by bill.pev ( 978836 ) on Friday May 12, 2017 @01:34PM (#54406627)
    I'm no fan of Alphabet, but the music industry just had its best year in 20 thanks to streaming and digital music. Youtube is a big part of that ecosystem. The music industry may have legit complaints, but digital music hurting them isn't one of them.
    • Willful misintrepretation? They had a worse year than they did two years ago. Profits went up for the first time in twenty years, but they're less than half what they were twenty years ago, even before counting inflation.

  • Since I've started listening to YouTube music videos at work, I have ended up purchasing more music than I would have had I not been listening to YouTube music videos.
  • Every artist and label under the sun posts all sorts of their content to YouTube. They then complain that people are listening to their music for free on YouTube? Then stop putting it there!

    Create your own service where you can charge users every time they consume your content then. Yes, there are average Joes and Janes that post videos with their content as well, but when they're putting their content on YouTube as well, they really don't get to complain. Soon as they stop posting their stuff to YouTube
  • No trade body or associations like MPAA or RIAA, software developers and game developers, among all sorts of targets of piracy will ever acknowledge the marketing or spreading effect that piracy had over digital history, ever. It's a given.

    Sony will never say Playstation 2 piracy helped a whole bunch to make the console spread out over the world, Microsoft will never acknowledge how much piracy had a hand in spreading out products like Office or Windows, Adobe will never say how much pirated copies of Photo

  • How about Google does the simple experiment of ceasing to host any streaming music of the major labels and they can report back exactly how much better they're doing! If they want to put their money where their mouth is?
  • Since moving to a shared-office environment I spend a lot of time wearing headphones and streaming stuff on YouTube. The new bands I'm introduced to that I like I head over to their Bandcamp page and buy the digital download. Most of them are are under $10 bucks and I think going through Bandcamp puts more of that into the bands pocket.

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