YouTube is no longer the villain of music

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youtube Has long been the most popular music service in the world. What has changed is that YouTube is no longer the Darth Vader of the music industry.

For years, some artists and suits of record companies have liked the millions of clicks the music videos got on YouTube, but they complained that the Google-owned site didn’t make enough money for them or stop the rip off. -Off.

Those complaints haven’t completely gone away, but they have mostly subsided. Why? A big reason is that YouTube figured out ways to generate enough cash to please many people in the music world—or at least enough content for now.

The question is whether YouTube has achieved permanent peace or a temporary one. If it holds up, YouTube will have achieved something that few Internet companies have had: a relatively healthy relationship with an established industry that simultaneously helps and hinders.

Let me go back to the years when YouTube was in the doghouse of the music industry. Industry powers routinely grope a public relations shorthand, “price difference” He stated that YouTube had a modest financial contribution to the music industry relative to the popularity of music on the site. They were fond of showing figures that vinyl records generated more income For the music business than YouTube.

Mostly, YouTube made money to musicians, songwriters and record labels like Google: It sold ads in or around music-related videos and split the cash with the people and companies behind the songs. power brokers in industry Said it was peanuts.

Fast forward to last week, when YouTube reveal That it paid out more than $4 billion to music companies, musicians and songwriters in the prior year. It’s about advertising money and something the industry has always wanted and is getting now – cutting into YouTube’s surprisingly large subscription business. (YouTube subscription includes an ad-free version of the site and a Spotify-like service for watching music videos without ads.)

The significance of YouTube’s dollar figure is that it’s not too far off $5 billion That streaming king Spotify pays music industry participants a portion of its subscription. (A reminder: industry Most loves Spotify’s money, but some musicians say they are small by payment.)

Subscribing to YouTube will always be a hobby, but the numbers suggest that even a side gig could be huge for the company. And it has bought peace by raining some money on those behind the music. Bloomberg News reporter Lucas Shaw says record labels and other industry powers “still don’t like YouTube,” wrote This week. “But they don’t hate it anymore.”

YouTube turnabout can also show that complaining works. The music industry has a fairly successful track record of picking Public Enemy No. 1 – Pandora For a while, Spotify, YouTube, and recent apps like TIC Toc and Twitch – and publicly flaunting it or playing one rich company against another to get more money or something.

It’s no longer YouTube’s turn on the hot seat, but I don’t know if it’s for good. Mark Mulligan, a music industry analyst and consultant, and my colleague i’m sisario Told me that some same old gripe is bubbling under the surface. Music power players still believe that YouTube pays much less per click than other digital music services. And they’re afraid that YouTube devaluation song everywhere because it is not enough to stop pirated versions.

But perhaps, YouTube has shown that it is possible for digital companies to grow and strengthen an industry. it is rare. Think about the outrage of many news organizations and websites about Facebook and Google, restaurants’ uneasy reliance on food delivery apps, and Netflix’s awkward marriages with entertainment companies. Maybe time and cash can find a measure of peace.

  • The ending of “Too good to be true”. Uber, DoorDash and Airbnb have had cash for years to subsidize the cost of their convenience services. Now, My colleague Kevin Roose writes, those young companies need to make a profit and this, along with the pandemic-related inequalities in the economy, is driving up the prices of Ubers, scooters and Airbnb rentals.

  • A look at how the richest Americans aren’t like the rest of us: ProPublica got its hands on data on tax returns for some of America’s wealthiest people, including tech billionaires, and identified those who used legal means pay income taxes that were only a small fraction of their growing fortune. For example, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos paid no federal income taxes in 2007 and 2011, and Tesla’s Elon Musk did the same in 2018, reports ProPublica.

  • It pioneered ways to make a living online: writes about Wired legacy of twitch, the livestreaming service that created ways for people to collect money from doing stuff online through tips and subscriptions in exchange for acknowledgments and connections. For better or worse, there can’t be a “creator economy” of Substack writers, Instagram influencers or Patreon podcasters without Twitch.

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