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Posted inNews

YouTube executive tells music industry to ‘embrace ads’

Could the key to solving the music industry’s rows with YouTube be a more positive approach towards advertising?

That, perhaps unsurprisingly, is the view of YouTube’s chief product officer Neal Mohan, expressed in the company’s latest public response to the criticism it’s been fielding from rightsholders.

“The consensus surrounding the music industry seems to be that its glory days are over. First beset by piracy and now unsettled by digital distribution, few people believe the industry can return to the heights it reached when it earned nearly $39 billion a year,” wrote Mohan in a Billboard op-ed.

Posted inNews

Taylor Swift, U2 and Paul McCartney join DMCA reform campaign

The US campaign for reform of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) – and by extension, for a shift in the licensing relationship between the music industry and YouTube – has picked up more high-profile artist advocates.

An open letter to the US Congress calling for action on the “broke” DMCA has the backing of all three major labels and two of the big-three publishers, as well as artists including Taylor Swift, U2, Paul McCartney, Deadmau5, Katy Perry, Kings of Leon, Britney Spears, Maroon 5, Pharrell Williams and Mark Ronson.

These are the big hitters – those 10 artists alone have more than 28.3bn views on their official YouTube channels, and that doesn’t count user-uploaded videos elsewhere on YouTube that their rightsholders may have claimed.

Posted inData, News

BPI returns to vinyl / YouTube comparison for 2015

Comparing vinyl sales with online-video revenues has become one of the sticks the music industry is using to beat YouTube with.

The BPI was first to make the comparison in November 2015 with chief executive Geoff Taylor’s speech at the Music Futures conference, with US body the RIAA recently following suit. Now the BPI is returning to the theme.

Its Music Market 2016 yearbook, published today, claims that ad-funded video music streams in the UK rose 88% in 2015, but trade revenues from them only grew by 0.4% to £24.4m.

Posted inNews

British government reveals IP enforcement strategy

The UK’s Intellectual Property Office has published its IP Enforcement 2020 report, outlining how it plans to protect intellectual property – music included – over the next five years.

Among its proposals: “Reviewing notice and takedown procedures to improve and streamline the process and consider the scope for introducing a Code of Practice for intermediaries.”

Posted inData, News

Streaming now top recorded revenue source for Warner Music

Warner Music Group has announced a new milestone this afternoon: streaming is now the largest source of revenue for its recorded music business.

The label group’s streaming income has now overtaken both its physical revenues and its downloads sales – streaming actually overhauled the latter in the first quarter of 2015, so a year later it has now also surpassed physical.

“Our recorded-music streaming revenue continues to grow at an impressive rate, rising 59% this quarter,” said CEO Steve Cooper as WMG announced its latest quarterly financial results, for Q1 2016.

“Just five quarters ago, streaming was the third-largest revenue source in our recorded-music business, behind both downloads and physical. Today, we are the first major music company to report that streaming is the largest source of revenue in our recorded-music business.”

Posted inAnalysis

PRS for Music chief talks financials, blockchain and YouTube

British collecting society PRS for Music has announced its 2015 financial results, reporting record royalties revenue of £537.4m, up 4.7% year-on-year.

The society’s costs increased by 17.7% to £67.8m, but that still left its PRS distributions up 8.4% to £460.9m. PRS for Music noted that its main revenue sources all grew year-on-year: international up 3.9% to £195.6m; public performance up 4.1% to £175.2m; broadcast up 4.1% to £124.2m; and online up 12.8% to £42.4m.

Within the latter sector, streaming revenues rose 12.9% to £23.7m for PRS for Music in 2015, while downloads fell 35.1% to £6.1m. Income from games was up 73.3% to £2.6m, while video-on-demand revenues rose 75.4% to £10m.

Posted inNews

YouTube launches Foundry initiative amid Euro criticism

YouTube’s latest response to music-industry criticism of its investment in artists is, well, a program to invest in artists.

It’s called Foundry, and was first reported by Bloomberg this weekend. The initiative has kicked off with a series of workshops in Los Angeles and London, with emerging artists invited in to use the YouTube Space production facilities, shooting videos of live performances while there.

This appears to be the start of something deeper, with Bloomberg adding that YouTube execs have been “reaching out to peers in the music industry and have scheduled meetings over the coming weeks to discuss a deeper collaboration” – including “the potential opportunity to star in a web TV series”.

Posted inNews

US music bodies and artists battle for DMCA reform

The music industry is making a new, concerted push for reform of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) legislation in the US.

18 American music bodies teamed up yesterday to send a 100-page ‘joint brief’ to the US Copyright Office criticising what they see as flaws in the way safe-harbour provisions work. It was accompanied by a separate submission signed by 40 managers, and petitions from musicians backing the calls for reform.

Posted inNews

MusicFirst Coalition tears into Google and YouTube

It is open season once again on Google and YouTube in the US, following the RIAA’s decision to make the ‘value gap’ a key part of its 2015 figures announcement.

A blog post by the MusicFirst Coalition has torn into Google and YouTube over the disparity between parent company Alphabet’s $21.33bn of Q4 revenues last year, and its payouts to the music industry.