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BPI boss: UK vinyl sales trumped YouTube revenues in 2014


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BPI chief Geoff Taylor delivered a keynote address at the Music Futures conference in Gateshead yesterday, including firing his latest shot at YouTube with a new statistic.

“UK record labels earned more last year from vinyl than they did from the 14bn music streams on YouTube,” said Taylor. As a reminder, in February 2014 the BPI announced that vinyl LP sales generated £12.1m of income for UK labels in 2013 – but it never published a figure for 2014.

Taylor also renewed his calls – which have been echoed elsewhere in the industry – for a revamp of European laws on safe harbour as they relate to services like YouTube.

“What we’ve seen is enormous dominance by these US tech platforms, and that dominance is being abused in a number of ways. It is time for legislators to rebalance the structures that were put in place in the early days of the internet,” said Taylor.

“We don’t so much have these global tech platforms [in the UK] so we hope our government will take a strong position in the European review that those [safe harbour] exceptions from liability need to be looked at again.”

Taylor also reiterated his views on ad-supported streaming services. “Personally I am an advocate for a free tier: for people who are time-rich, cash-poor, ad-supported can play a role – provided that it’s a funnel into a subscription premium service,” he said.

“There is an issue with the monetisation of ad-supported… the deals with the providers don’t seem to return as much to the industry. You’re seeing consumption going up rapidly on YouTube and on the ad-funded tiers of services like Spotify, but the money coming back to the industry through those ad-funded uses isn’t increasing at anywhere near the same pace.”

Stuart Dredge

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