Is YouTube Fairly Compensating Artists for Their Music?

By Andrew Catania

Passion is often considered as something priceless and beyond monetary worth. The world often takes it a little too seriously, making it a complete taboo for artisans and maestros to make a living out of their passion. This is no less than a breach of their basic rights. Skilled artists following their passion, dedicating their entire lives and putting in their sweat and blood to preserve and flourish different types of arts for the world to devour do need their share of appreciation and applause to keep them motivated to do more. However, they need to be remunerated fairly too to ensure that the talent of a Picasso, Beethoven or El Pacino in the making doesn’t get fogged by the worries of paying their bills.

There has been a lot of bickering in the music circles about how YouTube is being unfair to artists and is making huge mounds of bucks without paying them their fair and due share. The rift between musicians and the world’ largest video sharing platform escalated to a toll and gained a significant media limelight as Taylor Swift got onboard the bandwagon along with many eminent artists, accusing YouTube of promoting a shady culture of copyrights infringements to expand its own business while casting a great blow to the artists share of compensation.

The group of artists took the matter to a full-press trial, accusing YouTube of complying with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act only to meet its illicit objectives. The petition against the DMCA was launched by producer Irving Azoff, who got it signed by more than 180 musicians, artists, lyricist, and composers, including prominent names such as Taylor Swift, Debbie Harry, Elvis Costello, Katy Perry, Steven Tyler, Rod Stewart and Paul McCartney.

YouTube, on the other hand, shunned all charges and presented a more factual case in its defense. As per the YouTube spokespersons, YouTube keeps its operational designs in utmost compliance with the DMCA as well as all other laws governing the use and sharing of intellectual property.

The site has incorporated an efficient and comprehensive content ID system which keeps a stringent check on the content shared by the users and allows the rightful proprietors with a more authoritative control over their property. The content ID system detects the violation of copyrights and removes the illicitly distributed content to benefit the owner. As per YouTube authorities, the Content ID System has increased the artists’ revenue by another $2 billion, and as per Google, more than 90% of artists and musicians are successfully making money this way.

The statistics gathered by Midia Research to depict similar facts and points out a significant 15% increase in the magnitude of payments YouTube makes to the music industry, as the magnitude of music streams has increased by over 170%. However, this rapid increase has brought a decline in the per-stream cost, falling from $0.002 to $0.001. This eventually means that the artists in their individual capacity might have earned a significant double amount when compared to the previous rates. However, the music industry overall was compensated with full credit of the boom.

So, the entire mayhem can be deduced as more of a matter of per-stream value, which was decreased by YouTube to $0.001, and if the artists’ group and YouTube authorities settle on some mutually agreeable designs in term of cost, the issue can be resolved in a hassle-free way.

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