Setting the Record Straight
Thursday, April 28, 2016
Lately, there’s been a chorus of music label representatives and artists accusing YouTube of mistreating musicians. As the music industry shifts from a business that mainly sold albums and singles to one that earns money from subscriptions and ads, there are bound to be disagreements.
But many of the arguments don’t do justice to the partnership YouTube has built with artists, labels and the fans who support them. So let’s attempt to cut through the noise.
First, let’s start with where we agree. Music matters. Musicians and songwriters matter. They deserve to be compensated fairly. We believe this deeply and have partnered with the music industry for years to ensure it happens on our platform.
That’s why it’s surprising to see those same labels and artists suggest that YouTube has allowed a flood of “unlicensed” music onto its platform, depriving artists of revenue.
The truth is that YouTube takes copyright management extremely seriously and we work to ensure rightsholders make money no matter who uploads their music. No other platform gives as much money back to creators-- big and small-- across all kinds of content.
Decades ago, fans shared their favorite songs or performances on mixtapes. Then the sharing moved online. This was all considered piracy, costing the industry billions.
Today, thousands of labels and rightholders have licensing agreements with YouTube to actually leave fan videos up and earn revenue from them. They agree that a world where fans express love for their favorite artists by uploading concert footage and remixes is something to be celebrated. And they see that fan-uploaded content can be a way to drive exposure and boost sales; just this month, a funny video of a Ben Affleck interview helped propel Simon and Garfunkel’s “Sound of Silence” to the
Top 10 Hot Rock Songs
chart fifty years after it was released.
All of this is possible because our technology,
, automates rights management. Only 0.5 percent of all music claims are issued manually; we handle the remaining 99.5 percent with 99.7 percent accuracy. Today, the revenue from fan-uploaded content accounts for 50 percent of their revenue.
The next claim we hear is that we underpay compared to subscription services like Spotify. But this argument confuses two different services: music subscriptions that cost $10 a month versus ad-supported music videos. It’s like comparing what a cab driver earns from fares to what they earn showing ads in their taxi.
So let’s try a fair comparison, one between YouTube and radio.
Like radio, YouTube generates the vast majority of our revenue from advertising. Unlike radio, however, we pay the majority of the ad revenue that music earns to the industry. Radio, which accounts for 25 percent of all music consumption in the US alone and generates $35 billion of ad revenue a year, pays nothing to labels and artists in countries like the U.S. In countries like the UK and France where radio does pay royalties, we pay a rate at least twice as high.
Instead of talking about a “value gap,” we should be focusing on a “value shift;” if the ad revenue currently spent on radio instead flowed to online platforms, it would double the current size of the music business.
The decades-long argument radio makes for not paying artists is that it’s a promotional tool, raising awareness that artists use to cash in elsewhere. But YouTube offers promotion, too—promotion that pays. And that gets at another argument the industry is making: YouTube hurts emerging artists most.
Every musician knows how challenging it can be to get a deal with a label or their song heard on the radio. YouTube is one of the only platforms that allows anyone to get their music heard by a global audience of over one billion people. And it allows artists like Justin Bieber, Tori Kelly and Macklemore to explode from obscurity to build a massive community of fans that generates hundreds of millions of dollars for the industry.
YouTube also gives artists data they can use to plan tours, land press and even secure record deals. We believe that transparency is critical to ensuring the music industry works for artists. We’re engaged in productive conversations with the labels and publishers around increasing transparency on payouts which we believe can answer many artist concerns.
The final claim that the industry makes is that music is core to YouTube’s popularity. Despite the billions of views music generates, the average YouTube user spends just one hour watching music on YouTube a month. Compare that to the 55 hours a month the average Spotify subscriber consumes.
Make no mistake: regardless of the amount of time people spend watching music, we still feel it’s core to YouTube. That’s why we worked with labels and publishers to build and implement Content ID. It’s why we created a model that offers promotion that pays—to date, we have paid out over $3 billion to the music industry and that number is growing significantly year-on-year. And it’s why we created a custom YouTube Music app and recently introduced YouTube Red, our own subscription service, so that we could drive even more revenue to musicians and songwriters.
It’s these investments and strong ties that demonstrate our love of music and our commitment to strengthening the industry. And while there may occasionally be discord, history shows that when we work together, we can create beautiful harmonies.
Christophe Muller, Head of YouTube International Music Partnerships, recently watched carpool karaoke with
James Corden and Justin Bieber
Improving Content ID for creators
Thursday, April 28, 2016
At YouTube, one of our core values is a belief in the freedom of opportunity. We believe anyone should have the opportunity to earn money from the videos they create and turn their channels into successful businesses. That’s why we opened up the YouTube Partner Program nine years ago and why we remain the only platform where anyone with an idea and a camera can turn their videos into full time jobs.
We understand just how important revenue is to our creator community, and we’ve been
closely to concerns about the loss of monetization during the Content ID dispute process. Currently videos that are claimed and disputed don’t earn revenue for anyone, which is an especially frustrating experience for creators if that claim ends up being incorrect while a video racks up views in its first few days.
Today, we’re announcing a major step to help fix that frustrating experience. We’re developing a new solution that will allow videos to earn revenue while a Content ID claim is being disputed. Here’s how it will work: when both a creator and someone making a claim choose to monetize a video, we will continue to run ads on that video and hold the resulting revenue separately. Once the Content ID claim or dispute is resolved, we’ll pay out that revenue to the appropriate party.
We’re working on this new system now and hope to roll it out to all YouTube partners in the coming months. Here’s a closer look at how it’ll work once it’s live:
We strongly believe in fair use and believe that this improvement to Content ID will make a real difference. In addition to our work on the Content ID dispute process, we’re also paying close attention to creators’ concerns about copyright claims on videos they believe may be fair use. We want to help both the YouTube community and copyright owners alike better understand what fair use looks like online, which is why we launched our
fair use protection program
last year and recently introduced
new Help Center pages
on this topic.
Even though Content ID claims are disputed less than 1% of the time, we agree that this process could be better. Making sure our Content ID tools are being used properly is deeply important to us, so we’ve built a dedicated team to monitor this. Using a combination of algorithms and manual review, this team has resolved millions of invalid claims in the last year alone, and acted on millions more before they impacted creators. The team also restricts feature access and even terminates a partner’s access to Content ID tools if we find they are repeatedly abusing these tools.
We will continue to invest in both people and technology to make sure that Content ID keeps working for creators and rightsholders. We want to thank everyone who’s shared their concerns about unintended effects from Content ID claims. It’s allowed us to create a better system for everyone and we hope to share more updates soon.
David Rosenstein, Content ID Group Product Manager, recently watched “
Coachella VR 360 – Week 1 Sunday Highlights
Welcome to the 6ix: YouTube Space Toronto opens today
Wednesday, April 27, 2016
Canada is a creative powerhouse. From global musical
, to electric
, Toronto has long been an epicentre for creative talent.
Today we officially open
YouTube Space Toronto
to supercharge one of the largest creator communities in North America! YouTube Space Toronto will be a creative industry incubator, offering creators an opportunity to learn from industry experts, connect with fellow YouTubers in a collaborative setting and use the latest latest film equipment to create more ambitious and innovative video content.
Located at at
George Brown College’s Centre for Arts, Design & Information Technology
, YouTube Space Toronto will offer workshops and programming at no cost to Canadian creators who are looking to build their channels, giving them tools and guidance to remove barriers and enable them to innovate and experiment.
At YouTube Space Toronto, creators can:
Learn: From training programs and workshops to master classes, there are plenty of opportunities to get hands-on experience from industry experts.
Connect: Attend events, collaborate with fellow creators, brainstorm ideas, and share tips and tricks to get the most out of YouTube.
Create: This is your space to make your videos and there are resources to help you from start to finish, including areas for creative collaboration; loaner production equipment such as cameras, lights, boom microphones, and more; rotating sets and enclosed sound stage.
The Canadian creator scene is one of the world’s most vibrant YouTube communities, with many of the world’s top YouTube creators hailing from Canada. We’re thrilled to open our doors to this incredible community, as well as the next generation of YouTube artists, musicians and entertainers, who are looking build their channels and share their content with YouTube’s audience of one billion people.
The entrance to YouTube Space Toronto at George Brown College
Today, YouTube Space Toronto joins a list of
eight other cities to have a YouTube Space
, all of which are also known for their local creative industries. Since March 2015, creators filming in YouTube Spaces globally have produced over 10,000 videos, which have generated over 1 billion views and 70+ million hours of watchtime.
Play button recipients at the YouTube Space Toronto Opening. Collectively, the creators in attendance
had 70 million subscribers - or twice the population of Canada!
For the latest YouTube Space Toronto news and events, be sure to subscribe to our
We can’t wait to see what happens when Canadian creators have a Space to call their own. One thing we know for sure, the world will be watching!
Posted by Liam Collins
, Head of YouTube Spaces America
Drum roll please… the winners of the UK and US YouTube NextUp class of 2016 are in!
Thursday, April 7, 2016
Last month we announced this year’s contest for YouTube NextUp. We’re starting with the UK and US first, and we received hundreds of entries from channels of all kinds – from fashion to science, sports to food and everything in between.
And while deciding on the winners was beyond hard, we’re super excited to announce the final list of 51 winning channels! Let’s get right to it.
The winning UK channels are…
Bird Keeper Toby
Cheap Lazy Vegan
The winning US channels are…
Simple English Videos
The Art Sherpa
Angel Wong’s Kitchen
Painting with Jane
Mr. Fix It
Nic and Pancho
Dahlia & Dia
Not only do these channels each get a $2,500 (or £1,750) voucher for production equipment, their creators get a spot at a weeklong creator camp at their nearest YouTube Spaces in London, New York, or Los Angeles.
While there, they’ll team up with production experts to learn new techniques in camera, lighting, and sound, and receive coaching from the YouTube Partnerships team on how to grow their audience like a pro. They’ll also get advice from previous
YouTube NextUp grads
(like Cassey Ho from
Jack & Dean
) and the opportunity to meet and work with other fast-rising creators in the program.
And for you creators outside of the UK and US, this is just the start for the YouTube NextUp class of 2016. The Tokyo contest is currently
for Japan-based creators, and in the next few months we’ll be holding contests in Tokyo, Sao Paulo, Berlin, Paris, Toronto and Mumbai. So keep your eyes peeled for the announcements, enter to win, and you could be NextUp!!!
, YouTube NextUp program manager, recently watched
VLOG | #YoutubeBlack LOS ANGELES
Black History Month
Epic Rap Battles of History
mobile live streaming
on the rise
youtube earn money
Learn more in the
YouTube Help Center
Press & Blog
Creators & Partners
YouTube Engineering & Developers Blog
YouTube Trends Blog
More blogs from Google