Music Industry

Published on March 28th, 2016 | by Alan Cross

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YouTube: We Built This App on Rock’n’Roll (And Music in General). This is a Problem.

Put all the streaming music services together, double their usage and you still won’t have something as big as YouTube. When it comes to looking for music online, nothing comes close. This is a problem for the music industry and for creators. From medium.com:

The ABC’s of How Google’s YouTube Grabs the Value of Music And Extorts the People Who Create It

About $21,329,000,000 in revenue during Q4 and 558,000,000 copyright takedown requests in 2015.

Those enormous numbers are Google’s record profit and record disregard for creators’ rights.

In February, Alphabet — Google’s newly formed shell company — reported that it earned $21.33 billion in revenue during the final quarter of 2015, making it the most valuable company in the world. Advertising accounted for virtually all of this revenue haul, up 17% over last year’s results.[i]

Its free YouTube video streaming service, with more than one billion users, is the most popular platform for music consumption in the world.[ii]Though Google does not disclose sales numbers for YouTube specifically, it ascribes its substantial growth in part to advertising dollars on YouTube:

“Our very strong revenue growth in Q4 reflects the vibrancy of our business, driven by mobile search as well as YouTube and programmatic advertising, all areas in which we’ve been investing for many years.”[iii]

The New York Times estimates the service makes between $4 and $8 billion annually.[iv] And this cash cow is powered largely by music. The top 10 most watched videos on YouTube are all music related.[v]

Keep reading.




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About the Author

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ 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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