Fan Videos Make More Money for Labels Than Official Music Videos

If you want to see/hear virtually any song you can think of, the best source is YouTube.  Yes, you can find most official music videos there, but you’ll also find gazillions of unofficial clips posted by fans.

Lyric videos.  Lip-synch videos.  Videos that feature nothing more than images of the band while the song plays.  If you’re just looking for audio (and maybe a giggle), it’s all you really need in most cases.

This used to really annoy certain segments of the music industry.  “How dare these people violate copyright in such a brazen manner? Pirates!  Thieves!”  And then the takedown notices would come.

But hang on.  According to new statistics generated by the music industry itself, these fan videos generate more revenue for the labels than the official music videos.  And what’s the cost of a fan video to the label?  Nothing. Zip.

Here’s a quote from

“It’s a massive growth area. We’re very excited about the creativity of consumers using our repertoire and creating their own versions of our videos,” said Francis Keeling, the global head of digital business for Universal Music Group.

So instead of user-generated content being about thievery, it’s now about making lots of money.  How much longer before the traditional music video is abandoned entirely?

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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