Do you want an audience or a fan base?
An audience will go and check out a song after being instructed to do so. The fan base will choose what song to play or what album to play when they want to.
It’s always the techies that are getting it right for the music industry. They can see how to make dollars in between all of those ones and zeroes.
“An audience changes the channel when their show is over. A fan base shares, it comments, it curates, it creates.”
YouTube’s global head of entertainment Alex Carloss said the above.
So where do you stand as an artist.
Do you have an audience? People who are directed to check you out?
Or do you have a fan base, people who share, comment, create playlists and do everything else.
It is a global world and YouTube is a platform that can reach all corners of the world. The reason why it is so popular is that while the major labels procrastinated over how much they would get from the streaming services, YouTube entered via the backdoor and became the leader. And it wasn’t even licensed.
Recent research has shown that by not having your music on YouTube could lead to an increase in music sales. What this clearly shows to me is that there are more factors out there that have led to reduced sales of recorded music than piracy alone. It also shows the shift of people’s listening habits. But wait, Neil Young and the Ponos team still reckon we need studio quality files. Yep, good luck with that.
If you are not using YouTube to promote yourself, then you are doing it all wrong and your career is challenged.
Even if the record labels do not renew their licensing agreement with YouTube, it will still survive. Because it is the fans that want it. YouTube’s success is made by the people, who apart from going to listen to music or view videos, they also upload as well. If I want to hear a new release before I buy it I normally go to YouTube. The whole album is there. Spotify is good as well, however it’s search algorithms are rubbish, plus it doesn’t have everything there.
I wanted to listen to Badlands “Voodoo Highway” album recently. It’s not on Spotify, however YouTube has it. Unlicensed.
I wanted to listen to Don Dokken’s “Up From The Ashes” album recently. For both, I could have gotten the CD and played it or I could have plugged in the portable drive and played it from there, however that was too much effort. Spotify didn’t have it, but YouTube did. Again unlicensed.
The record labels get wined and dined by Apple for exclusivity around their streaming service. And then when the cash rolls in from another licensing agreement to them, the artists will complain that streaming is killing the music business.
The Record Labels are still killing the music business. Their own greed will kill off streaming services. A stream is not a sale, so the royalty rates that labels pay artists are bullshit. Because the labels classify a stream as a sale which in turn brings with it a lower royalty rate.
Because if a band can stand to make $24,000 for putting up a silent album on Spotify that has been streamed for a combined sum over 4.7 million, then surely the larger acts that have 40 million streams will be making better dollars.
But they don’t.
Because that low royalty rate per stream that Spotify pays, gets further diluted when the Record Label applies it’s 80/20 split to it. Then that low 20 percent is split again by managers, lawyers, band members, etc..
What about illegal downloading of music?
It is still going on and it will never stop because people still want to have the mp3.
14 years have passed since the Napster revolution and music lovers still don’t have a legal ad-supported peer-to-peer download service for mp3’s. It’s leaving money on the table if you ask me.
Do you know what one of the main income revenues is for the record labels?
Yep, its YouTube fan clips that go viral. The ones that have unlicensed music playing in the background. With the YouTube Content ID system, labels can claim the clip as theirs and then reap the benefits that the clips views bring in.
Even Governments fear it. Turkey’s government blocked access to YouTube when an audio recording of top civilian and military officials appeared, which involved high-level security talks on Syria. The Government has classed it as illegal content. I see it as a form of censorship.
YouTube was seen as the enemy to TV stations and to the Music Industry. Now it is their greatest ally, only if they know how to use its potential. Expect to see the various YouTube networks become bigger than the movie studios in the future. Because they realise that it’s not all about the blockbuster effect. Releasing content more frequently is king.