May 23, 2024

3 thoughts on “How YouTube Pays Artists by East Bay Ray

  1. If you’re gonna write an article at least using recent numbers, though I suspect you didn’t because it doesn’t fit your narrative. From an NYT article from Feb. YT revenue is about $4 billion in 2014. After paying for content, and the equipment to deliver speedy videos, YouTube’s bottom line is “roughly break-even.” There’s no profit, and the fact is they are the only social media site actually paying creators a % of ad rev. Facebook and twitter don’t. In fact YT is actually funding shows from its creators. Is iTunes/Apple doing that? YouTube has created spaces all around the world for its creators to use for free! Has any other site done that? To me, YouTube is the epitome of punk rock. You can create whatever content you want (as long as its legal) and throw it up online to find an audience and monetize it, or even choose not to monetize it if you want. There is now a whole new generation of creators who make a living doing YT videos on their terms. They are their own boss and have no one giving them notes or bossing them around on what kind of content they need to make. I’m so sick of the music industry bitching about how they are being victimized. Why don’t you guys get all the rightsholders, the labels the publishers and the PRO’s in one room and lock them until they create a site that satisfies the industry. It’ll never happen, because the labels and publishers and PRO’s all fight each other who should get what. Instead of whining whenever a new service comes up, why not create the solution?

    1. I’m confused by much of your reply:

      “the fact is they are the only social media site actually paying creators a % of ad rev. Facebook and twitter don’t”

      They are also the only social media site in which users can upload and utilize other peoples content without permission, and then monetize it. You can’t simply search for a song on FB and then listen to it – you’d have to search the band themselves, who may or may not have decided to stream their content on FB. However, you could go to YouTube and search that song, and find it many many times over – it’s a completely different animal. In addition, you seem to be praising YT for paying a % in general, instead of nothing, with no thought (or care) to what that % is…YT’s cut of 45% of net earnings resulting from ads specifically on a content owner’s material is insanely exploitative. Do you disagree?

      “YouTube’s bottom line is “roughly break-even.”

      That has no bearing on YT’s 45% cut of net earnings, which is what the article is taking issue with. If YT’s overhead is so extreme, and the only way to make it work is to exploit content owners, than there is an inherent problem with the business model. YT should instead charge more for ad space…ultimately it shouldn’t be the burden of content owners to finance YT’s business. Do you disagree?

      “YT is actually funding shows from its creators. Is iTunes/Apple doing that?”

      That may be, but again is of no relevance to YT taking 45% of net ad revenue. If YT wants to fund content, good for them…this is entirely inconsequential, and in no way should it be constructed as a criticism of Apple. And keep in mind that the vast majority of content on YouTube is from creators with no direct relationship and zero affiliation with YouTube.

      “YouTube has created spaces all around the world for its creators to use for free!”

      See previous response

      “You can create whatever content you want (as long as its legal) and throw it up online to find an audience and monetize it, or even choose not to monetize it if you want.”

      You fail to mention that you can also upload whatever you want (even if you don’t own it), and even choose to monetize it if you want, with absolutely no penalty in the event you are caught…oh, and that YT directly participates in the profits resulting from illegal monetization of other people’s content, is in no way liable for it, and can keep whatever money it has illegally earned if and when a content owner sends YT a DMCA notice.

      “There is now a whole new generation of creators who make a living doing YT videos on their terms.”

      Yes, and this is great. But again, doesn’t address the unfair exploitation of YT’s revenue share.

      “I’m so sick of the music industry bitching about how they are being victimized. Why don’t you guys get all the rightsholders, the labels the publishers and the PRO’s in one room and lock them until they create a site that satisfies the industry. It’ll never happen, because the labels and publishers and PRO’s all fight each other who should get what.”

      I share your discontent for much of the industry’s response to these kinds of matters. But I caution you to realize a) that labels and publishers don’t account for all creators…many (including me) are independent and unaffiliated with a label or publisher, b) PROs have no real relevance to this discussion about YT and it’s share of ad revenue, c) ultimately the issue it hand is that YouTube has created a platform in which content owner’s creations can be uploaded (and monetized) without their consent, forcing creators to fight an impossible battle of sending YT takedown notices day in day out, or otherwise join YT and be the ones doing the monetizing….so YT has essentially leveraged piracy to force creators into bending to their will….and then on top of that YT is taking 45% of net from the resulting revenue…that’s pretty shameful. Or do you disagree?

      “Instead of whining whenever a new service comes up, why not create the solution?”

      I don’t get this – nobody asked Google to create YouTube in the first place. The industry is simply responding to what Google has done. Instead of creating a service that exploits creators, why not run the service fairly (granted this is a subjective assessment, but surely 45% of net does not qualify).

  2. This is all well and good, but no one seems to be offering any viable solutions to the problem. What do you think musicians should do? Recently Adele decided to boycott digital spotify and all the digital downloads and just sell CDs. I was recently in a Target Store and saw dozens of her CDs just sitting there unsold. I’m not sure her strategy is going to work. I like CDs, because I want an actual product I can hold in my hand, but I am “old school”. Most kids are going to download it. What’s the solution?

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