The music business seems to be the nastiest place. Always fighting. Like, on Tuesday, Google said it paid the music industry $1 billion as a portion of YouTube's advertising revenue this year. Sounds great.
In an unpleasant response to what would seem like pretty pleasant news, it said: “YouTube, the world’s largest on-demand music service, is not paying artists and producers anything like a fair rate for music. This highlights more than ever the need for legislative action to address the ‘value gap’ that is denying music rights holders a fair return for their work.”
The industry’s grievances with YouTube puts the biz into Byzantine worlds, but one easy-to-illustrate example sums it up: Record labels complain YouTube does a shabby job taking down uploads of music videos posted by fans, rather than posting the official versions. YouTube can, and does, sell ads off those other videos. That’s what they say.
YouTube points to data that says 98% of the music videos it has are authorized and 75% were actually supplied by the labels themselves, and that it takes down unauthorized videos as fast as it can.
Labels also complain the deals it makes with YouTube are one-sided because YouTube offers take-it-or-leave it deals. Most labels take it, and complain.