Is YouTube Music a Win for Music Industry and Listeners? – VideoInk

YouTube Music is designed to help users quickly find music videos, tracks, artists and albums, as well as remixes, covers, lyric videos and concert footage. It also provides a leanback experience that creates endless playlists for users, based on their previous selections.
“Today, any artist can upload a video to YouTube and get discovered by over 1 billion people around the globe,” wrote T. Jay Fowler, director of product management, music, products, for YouTube, in a blog post announcing the launch “That global exposure has allowed YouTube and Google to pay out over $3 billion to the record industry to date. But it’s also provided an incredible source of promotion for artists, helping fuel ticket sales, move merchandise, and boost album and song downloads. Just this month, Adele’s “Hello” became the fastest rising video of the year on YouTube, while also breaking the record for first week download sales.”
Subscribers to YouTube Red, the platform’s subscription service launched last month, will be able to experience YouTube Music ad-free, play music in the background and listen to music offline. YouTube Red also includes an audio mode for the Music app that lets users play songs without loading video.
Used in concert with YouTube Red, YouTube Music is essentially a refinement and re-branding of its YouTube Music Key subscription service, launched in beta in Nov. 2014. Priced at $9.99 a month ($12.99 for iOS devices), Red also gives free access to Google Play Music, which is currently priced at $9.99 a month all by itself, as are competitors Spotify and Rhapsody.

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Who Spends More on A&R: Record Labels or Music Publishers?

The debate continues to rage over the proportion of streaming revenue paid to songwriters and publishers vs. that passed to record companies and artists.
One of the justifications you often hear for labels continuing to take the lion’s share of payouts from Spotify etc. is that they invest a huge amount more in A&R than those who develop songwriters. Not true, says UK Music’s new Measuring Music report. According the trade body’s numbers, record labels spent £178m on A&R in 2014. That was certainly ahead of the investment in songwriters made by music publishers – but by less than you might assume. Publishers spend £162m on writers in the year, according to the UK Music report. If you count that as ‘pure’ A&R investment, it was just £16m behind their peers in record companies. (In like-for-like terms, this is a rough approximation: the publishing figure – drawn from MPA data – is defined as ‘investment in writers (advances etc.)’, while the record label figure – derived from BPI data – is defined as pure ‘A&R expenditure‘.)

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UMG Digital Income Falls By $18m – Apple Music Blamed Or Surprise Dip

Universal Music Group’s income from digital recorded music fell by €17m ($18m) in the three months to end of September, compared to the prior quarter.
And parent Vivendi is pointing the finger at one culprit over any other for the dip: Apple Music’s free trial. According to MBW analysis, Universal turned over €450m (€485m) through digital music services in Q3.As previously reported, 51% of this figure came from streaming across ad-funded and subscription – the first time in UMG history that the format had overtaken downloads as a revenue driver. That means that the likes of YouTube, Spotify and Apple Music drove €229.5m ($247m) in the quarter for UMG.Downloads, meanwhile, fell in value by 8% for the company in Q3 – down to €220.5m ($237m). (A bit of reverse engineering, and we can work out that in Q2, downloads contributed around €239m ($257m) to UMG’s bottom line.)Hooray for streaming? Hang on a moment. Let’s take a closer look at UMG’s recent quarterly digital income.

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Why This Billion Game Company Is Entering The Music Business

Video game accessories, peripherals, and hardware company Razer has sold over 17 million connected devices, including Razer Blade gaming laptops and Razer Nabu smartbands. The gaming company, which is valued by many analysts as being worth $1 billion, has entered the music business with Razer Music.

Every new 2015 Blade laptop will come with a free key to download a copy of Image-Line’s FL Studio Producer Edition software, which is used by professional music producers and artists across multiple genres. In addition, Razer Music has created a free online site featuring weekly tutorials and insights on the future of music production from established artists in the EDM genre such as deadmau5, Dyro, Project 46, Zircon, as well as in the hip-hop space, like Drake’s producer Metro Boomin.

“I’ve had a lot of people reaching out to me directly online from both the music and the gaming worlds saying they’ve watched my tutorials on the new Razer Music platform and found them helpful, so it’s cool to see great responses from both sides,” Dutch House producer Dyro says. “It’s united both industries and technologies together–and what’s better than music and gaming?”

Those two industries have been intertwined for decades. And Razer sees this new venture as a natural extension of its business model. Min-Liang Tan, co-founder and CEO of Razer, says the lines dividing music and gaming from a commercial point of view were altogether obliterated with the advent of online content distribution in both industries.

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How the YouTube era damaged brands’ relationship with the music industry

At this year’s SXSW music conference, no less a figure than Paul Krugman, the Nobel Prize winning economist, was discussing a $64,000 question shared by brand marketing and procurement execs the world over:

“How much is music worth?”

It’s a pertinent question.Especially in the YouTube era where, to all intents and purposes, music has become a ‘free’ commodity to an entire generation – some of whom are joining the marketing profession.

Those who ignore the finer points of intellectual property do so at their peril
As envisaged by David Bowie more than a decade ago, music now flows openly like water. Fans no longer need to plumb the murky waters of Pirate Bay since the entire history of music, licensed or otherwise, is now available at a click. However, against this consumer backdrop of diminishing value, for brands and their agencies, negotiating the price of music licences for marketing communications remains a minefield.

The music rights landscape is fragmented and complex – controlled by record labels and music publishers – and those who ignore the finer points of intellectual property do so at their peril. (On this point, Bowie’s future-gazing went somewhat awry – in 2002 he also predicted that “copyright…will no longer exist in 10 years”

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YouTube Music is here, and it’s a game changer

YouTube is first and foremost a video portal, the world’s largest and most popular online collection of moving images. But it’s also a search engine, the world’s second largest, trailing only its parent company, Google. And while the library on YouTube is made up of videos, in practice it has also become the world’s largest streaming music service, used by more people than well-known names like Spotify or Apple when it comes to consuming songs and albums.

Today, the video giant is rolling out a new app, YouTube Music, that attempts to capitalize on its dominance in this space. The app is free, and you can use it in free, ad-supported mode, but it becomes a lot more powerful and interesting if you pay for a YouTube Red subscription.

The fact that YouTube Music and Google Play Music both exist is a touch confusing, especially since you can use them both for free, but they both add a bunch of features if you subscribe to YouTube Red. The best way to understand the new music app is to think of Facebook. Just as the social network broke out Messenger into its own so it could optimize the experience, YouTube now has dedicated apps for its three most popular verticals: kids, gaming, and music.

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How Bitcoin’s Blockchain Could Fix The Music Industry’s Payment Problem | Musonomics

Professional musicians know that royalty payments and the concept of transparency are mutually exclusive. As we mentioned briefly in our seventh episode , “The Transparency Moment,” the current performance royalty payment system is antiquated and fragmented. Payments can take months to be sent out and usually arrive via paper check. Some payments don’t even reach rights holders because records of who owns what are incomplete or incorrect. Those payments are trapped in what David Byrne calledthe music industry’s black box. Black box lost revenues are said to be in the millions of dollars, but we might not be locked out of that box forever. 

Cracking into that revenue is one of the biggest challenges facing the industry and the solution might be found in blockchain, an important part of the inner workings of Bitcoin. But before we get into how to solve one of the music industry’s biggest conundrums, let’s take a look at the conundrum itself.

Each time a song is broadcast via terrestrial or digital radio — in supermarkets, cafes, your Spotify feed, or anywhere trackable — the broadcaster owes the rights holder a performance royalty payment. To receive those payments, rights holders must sign up with a Performance Royalty Organization (PRO) like the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP), Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI) or SESAC, who collect those royalties for their members — but that’s not such an easy task. Payments per play or stream are often tiny, micro-payments no more than .0015 cents per stream, and there are thousands upon thousands of them pouring in every minute. PROs are stuck with huge mountains of data to sift through without an adequate system by which to process, accredit, and pay-out all those streams, micro-payments, and corresponding royalty checks.

Here’s where Bitcoin comes in:

Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency, unregulated by a central bank — but any currency needs a method by which to keep track of itself, and for Bitcoin that method is a permanent public ledger called blockchain. Through a process called “mining,” every Bitcoin transaction is tracked and recorded on the blockchain. You can see where each bitcoin changes hands, to whom it was sent, and from whence it came. This allows transactions to be completely transparent, preventing money from being skimmed or otherwise improperly distributed by a middleman.

In theory, a like-minded system could be implemented for royalty payments in the music industry. This would create a central database containing information for all rights holders, streamers, broadcaster, and record labels. Using a similar process to Bitcoin’s “mining” we could track how often each song is played, automatically compute who is owed how much money, and distribute the royalty payment to the correct parties. The author, publisher and label could all be payed exactly what they’re owed in a dramatically shorter timeframe.

D.A. Wallach, investor and artist-in-residence at Spotify, explains blockchain and the music industry in a simple way, comparing it to a VISA system for royalties. The VISA credit card system is the underlying structure that connects most major banking transactions throughout the world. You might use Bank of America in the United States, and another person in Brazil might use Citibank, but the VISA system is what allows those two entities to communicate and perform transactions. The blockchain could become the music industry’s common system in which all involved parties —  Spotify, Apple Music, Deezer, the PROs, songwriters, performers, and publishers — can communicate and keep record of their communication.

Of course, this is easier theorized than done. In 2008, EU Commissioner Neelie Kroes started the Global Repertoire Database Working Group (GRD WG) in an attempt to create a blockchain-inspired system for the music industry. The GRD WG never made it off the ground. In 2014, after spending $13.7 million, the GRD WGwas abandoned because of coordination issues, lack of quality technical guidance, and a misalignment of interests among major PROs in the U.S. and Europe.  

Any new royalty payment system will only be possible when the US Copyright Office updates its policies and frameworks to allow the growth and regulation of such a system. PROs will have to learn to work together amidst interests that are not always 100% aligned. Moreover, running and maintaining a system that processes such a large amount of data on a daily basis, as the GRD WG learned, is expensive — and there’s no clear party willing to pay. However, if these obstacles can somehow be conquered, blockchain could be a vital part of a new-look music industry where transparency and timeliness aren’t just fantasy and the music industry’s black box is no more.

by Alonso Villagomez

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Jadakiss Taps Platinum Producers Arkatech Beatz For Top 5 Dead Or Alive | Arkatech Beatz – Platinum Producers/Beat Makers

Jadakiss Taps Platinum Producers Arkatech Beatz for Top 5 Dead Or Alive Legendary lyricist, Jadakiss – is the latest artist to become part of platinum

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Loud Records Wishes Big Pun Happy Birthday


Today marks the birthday of one of Hip Hop’s legends Big Pun. Yeah I said legends. You see there is no other artist that encompass such a variety of characteristics in an artist like Pun. Yeah sure there are other artist that can spit a hot 16 or (12 these days) but none that can combine lyrical content, flow, delivery, wittiness, charisma, charm, confidence, sex appeal (for some), and still “187 on an undercover cooooooooop” like Pun. Even some of your favorite rappers lack in at least one of those areas. Ok with the exception of B.I.G I’ll give you that but that’s about it.
Because of who he was and his great contribution to Hip Hop tons of fans, artist, and producers send up a mention every year on his birthday or anniversary of his death. Today is no different, but it is always a pleasure to see the ol staff of Loud Records come together and give it up for their artist who is arguable mentioned in the category of Top 5 Dead or Alive. Check out some of the heartwarming posts below courtesy of Instagram. Happy Birthday Pun.

Happy B Day Pun thank you @fatjoe for you guys making history
-Steve Rifkind (@steverifkind)

Celebrating the life of #BigPun today 11/10/15, one of kind, noted as the first platinum, latino solo MC, a bunch of us consider ourselves blessed to have shared in a small piece of his legacy. A real comedian, most of the time, his humor will always stand out to those who had the honor of knowing him personally. #PackingTheMacInBackOfTheAc #Twincito #TheCrusher #LOUDsounders for life
-Schott Free & Matty C (@FrozenFiles)

I was fortunate enough to work with Pun as an A&R and producer(100%). I remember meeting him with Matty C and schott free in a Mobb Deep session for the first time. He had us laughing a lot at all times…. I remember being in the Capital Punishment sessions and watching him take a deep breath a spit “Dead in the middle of Little italy…” This dude changed my life. I was blessed to be involved. Crazy thing is i have no pics with him. This is him with my son in my old office at #LoudRecords. Happy Birthday #BigPun Thank you.
-Sean C (@itsSeanC)

Happy Birthday to the homie Big Punisher. I will never forget your contribution to Hip Hop or the impact you had on my life. We had many memorable moments, conversations, and of course jokes about various topics within and outside of music. It still saddens me to this day that you are no longer physically around. I could only imagine the quality of music you would be producing today. I just want to say today on your birthday that I truly appreciate you believing in me and giving me the opportunity to showcase my musical talents next to yours. It was clear that you knew your destiny was for greatness, and it’s a joy knowing that you saw something in me that was able to contribute to it. Unfortunately some people are just now realizing your talents and appreciating your legacy. I guess it’s better late than never. I’m going to end this simply with the memorable quotable I said on your first albums skit “Thanks Pun”.
-Mike”Trauma”D (@arkatechbeatz)

#Salute #BigPun #ChrisRivers #OffTheBooks #Rip #Bx #Ts #NYC #HBD
-Chef Lowe (@Cheflowe)

We’ll miss one of the best to touch the mic
-Curry (@CurryKid46)

Can YouTube Finally Get Music Right With New Subscription Service?

On a sunny October morning in Los Angeles, a few hundred YouTube staffers, video personalities and media types are gathered at the company’s ­massive 41,000-square-foot West Coast outpost, which, in a simpler age, served as Howard Hughes Airport. The indulgent trappings of a web 3.0 business are all here: free campus bikes, arcade games, photo booth and a massive 36-screen monitor by which YouTube will introduce its newest product, YouTube Red. The $9.99-per-month ­subscription service features original video programming, ad-free audio and video, offline playback, continuous ­streaming, song recommendations and access to the Google Play Music ­subscription service.

The presentation is led by chief business officer Robert Kyncl, 45, now in charge of business development for both YouTube and Google Play Music, who declares YouTube Music is about “artists and fans ­connecting through songs.” YouTube users, he says, don’t just listen to or watch music; they share, remix and cover songs on a ­platform that can reach a billion people a month.

YouTube’s Robert Kyncl Overseeing Google Play: Exclusive

With that kind of reach, why is YouTube Red competing with other $9.99-per-month ­subscription ­services like Spotify, which has roughly 20 million ­subscribers, as well as music and video offerings from Amazon and Apple? Kyncl says the company’s impetus was a desire for dual revenue streams — labels and publishers prefer the royalties of subscribers over “freemium”; the new system would provide both — and better features for users. “It could be transformative for the industry,” he says. “That’s why we decided to invest into it.”

But the music biz isn’t ­necessarily cheering. After 10 years of living as uneasy bedfellows with YouTube, complaints of comparatively low revenue paid to rightsholders for their content persist.

“YouTube and Google have been borderline criminal in the way they approach the proper ­exploitation of copyrights,” says Robb McDaniels, former CEO of digital distributor INgrooves, comparing the company’s massive scale to the low ad-based revenues it pays. Matt Pincus, founder of SONGS Music Publishing (Lorde, The Weeknd) concurs. “YouTube was super hostile to music,” he says, pointing to challenges he has faced working with the service on ­identifying content, ­collecting ­revenue and removing ­unlicensed music — although he notes things have gotten “quite a bit better” in the last three years.

While Kyncl doesn’t address those charges directly, he stresses the company’s desire to work with the music business on solutions. “The door is open for suggestions for better business models to drive higher engagement and revenue,” he says. “We have common goals — we’re leaning into the industry more than ever.”

So how do the numbers shake out? Billboard ­estimates ads at YouTube and Vevo made roughly $230 million for labels from the 85 billion streams tracked by Nielsen Music in 2014. By comparison, 79 billion on-demand audio streams by Spotify, Rhapsody, Rdio and others ­generated roughly $630 million — nearly three times the ­revenue per stream of video. Why the difference? Partially because every stream at Spotify is ­monetized; not all YouTube and Vevo streams are accompanied by ads due to fears that too many of them will repel viewers.

YouTube’s Ad-Free Subscription Service YouTube Red Arrives

Kyncl calls such ad-revenue estimates “incorrect,” putting YouTube’s global tally over $3 billion in ­payouts to rightsholders since 2007. While Kyncl declines to provide further details, he adds that “ad ­revenue is very significant and growing.” On the accusation of mismanaging copyright, a YouTube representative says, “We’ve invested tens of millions of dollars and tens of thousands of engineering hours into building one of the most sophisticated copyright-management ­technologies on the planet, Content ID.” 

Yet to the music business, that revenue is dwarfed by the prospect that high-value subscribers can offer: According to Spotify’s ­financial statements, 91 percent of revenue comes from subscribers, who make up just 27 percent of users. It’s tantalizing to consider the revenue that even a fractional percent of YouTube’s billion users converted to subscribers could add to the music business’ diminished coffers.

Of course, there’s no guarantee YouTube can attract these high-value subscribers. YouTube Red is not the platform’s first foray into music subscriptions: That came in 2014 with YouTube Music Key, which never made it out of beta and will be put out to pasture at the end of the month. Says Kyncl: “One thing we learned from Music Key was that features like offline playback, background listening and no-ads didn’t work across all of YouTube content. That’s why offering the service across all of YouTube was a key user requirement for us.”

But can a free, ad-supported video site with music videos coexist along side a subscription service? Kyncl cites anecdotal examples: the high rate of music-­subscription adoption in Spotify’s home country of Sweden, where YouTube is fully available, for example, and the uptick in U.S. music ­subscriptions, which grew by nearly $100 ­million year over year, according to the RIAA. And then there’s Adele, whose “Hello” video clocked 100 million YouTube views in less than five days while also becoming the first song to sell 1 ­million ­downloads in a week. “That’s further proof that YouTube is a great place to discover content and drive commercial activity around it,” says Kyncl.

What remains unclear is the overall impact that YouTube’s freemium tier will have on ­consumers’ decision to plunk down $120 a year for what is essentially added convenience. Skepticism aside, the music industry would love to see the paid ­platform succeed, albeit with terms more ­favorable to rightsholders than they currently see. “Paid models are always significantly better for songwriters than advertising models,” says David Israelite, head of the National Music Publishers’ Association, echoing a widely shared sentiment. “I’m rooting for YouTube Red’s success.”

This article was originally published in the Nov. 11 issue of Billboard.

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