Major Labels Ratchet Up Anti-YouTube Rhetoric As The Begin Difficult Renegotiations

YOuTube NOThe RIAA and the labels it represents have been ratcheting up their anti-YouTube rhetoric, calling out the popular service for paying “meager” royalties. Never mind that these same labels where the ones who agreed to these terms a few years ago. But now, they seem intent on righting their own wrong.

All three major labels are in serious negotiations with YouTube demanding higher payments for the use of music. Universal Music Group’s t deal with the Google owned video and music service has reportedly already run out, and deals with Warner and Sony are set to expire within months.

As music consumption rapidly shifts from purchase to streaming, at stake is how much artists and labels are paid for millions of music streams on YouTube daily. Online music consumption doubled in 2015, but ad-supported streaming like YouTube and Spotify’s free tier drove just 5.5% of music industry revenue. “We make peanuts from the ads,” an unamed music executive told Matthew Garrahan of the Financial Times, in a well documented piece on the negotiations.

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“The consumption of music is skyrocketing, but revenues for creators have not kept pace,” according to a recent RIAA report. “In 2015, fans listened to hundreds of billions of audio and video music streams through on-demand ad-supported digital services like YouTube, but revenues from such services have been meager — far less than other kinds of music services.”

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