Maybe it's time to get off Youtube and go to a record store
Ben Butler
15:57 20th May 2016

The body representing recording artists and the UK music industry has launched a massive attack on YouTube and other video streaming services, as findings show artists are actually making more money from vinyl sales.

The organisation says that a huge increase in video streaming over time has not been followed by an increase in revenue from the format. "It is hugely encouraging that demand for British music is so strong at home and abroad" BPI Chief Executive Geoff Taylor said.

British acts, including Adele, accounted for one in six of all albums sold worldwide last year. "Yet the fact that sales revenues dipped in a record year for British music shows clearly that something is fundamentally broken in the music market, so that artists and the labels that invest in them no longer benefit fairly from growing demand" said Taylor.

Leading video platforms such as YouTube are able to abuse liability protections, such as royalty havens, which allow them to "dictat[e] terms so they can grab the value from music for themselves, at the expense of artists".

Geoff Taylor argued that in the long run this could negatively impact the "investment in new music, making it difficult for most artists to earn a living, and undermining the growth of more innovative services like Spotify and Apple Music that pay more fairly for the music they use".

In response, YouTube representatives insisted that comparing revenue from audio and video streaming was ridiculous. They stated, “For years, the music industry lost millions of dollars as piracy rates soared...Thanks to our rights management system, Content ID, rights holders have complete control of their music on YouTube and can easily decide whether to have content taken down, or profit from it".

We have to agree with Taylor's sentiment that "music is precious – it’s not a commodity to be strip-mined for big data". And, it's a clear sign as any that supporting your local record shop, and obtaining a brilliant piece of vinyl in the process will truly benefit the artists you love.

Adele and Taylor Swift recently topped the rankings for 2015's highest earning sellers.

There's always a few artists whose success just seems a little... baffling

  • Coldplay: Their made-for-Radio One, middle of the road sound has gained them worldwide success – I get that – middle of the road sells. What I can’t understand – or accept – is the critical acclaim these guys get on both sides of the pond. A quick glance at Wikipedia tells me they’ve won nearly 70 awards, including nine BRITs and a staggering seven Grammys. Yet they’re entirely unremarkable. Artists like Michael Jackson and John Lennon defined genres and forced social change. Bands like Led Zeppelin and Rolling Stones took rock ‘n’ roll by the scruff of the neck and drove it forward. Coldplay happily rack up No.1 singles with meaningless, inoffensive ditties that cannot even be described as rock ‘n’ roll. Yet they’re revered by critics and the public. I’m baffled. (Drew Heatley)

  • Muse: Muse were those kids in college who could actually play their instruments, meaning they instantly stood out from every other band. But the problem with those guys, and the reason they’re not usually the ones to make it big, is they never had an original idea in their life. Somehow Muse have overcome this hurdle and shot to international fame. There’s a direct correlation between how turgid and dull their albums become and the amount of money they throw at theatrics to distract everyone from this downward trajectory. Sadly, people still lap it up. Maybe one day they’ll notice that crashing drones and spinning stages are no substitute for interesting songs. I’m not holding my breath though. (Hywel Roberts)

  • Pitbull: OK, so Pitbull’s not exactly critically acclaimed, but it still astonishes me that someone with such an aggressive lack of talent has enjoyed such a consistently successful career. I can never forgive him for smearing his terribleness all over one of the catchiest choruses of all time - Kesha’s ‘Timber’. Not to mention the fact that “says she won’t but I bet she will” is far more rapey than anything Robin Thicke could dream up. (Alexandra Pollard)

  • The 1975: It truly baffles me, the reception this band has received when, from where I’m standing, they are simply an inoffensive pop outift. ‘Love Me’ appropriates Bowie’s incredible ‘Fame’ era funk, but for me it falls short of being anything but a pastiche: it’s glossy and smooth without the jerky hip-thrust that gives good pop-funk – the Chili’s, Bowie, Peter Gabriel, Daft Punk – its kinky edge. I know The 1975 aren’t that bad – the world needs inoffensive, catchy pop music – more achingly boring. I just wish everyone would stop pretending they’re something more. And that Healy would put a bloody shirt on. (Emma Finamore)

  • Red Hot Chili Peppers: OK, I'm not going to deny that the early was great, and to be fair, I have a lot of time for a fair chunk of their output up until Californication. 'Other Side', 'Suck My Kiss' and 'Under The Bridge' are some of the finest alt-rock songs of the 20th Century. Right? OK, that's diplomacy out of the way. I just can't be doing with over-indulgent wanky slap bass over the top of nonsensical, Crazy Frog rapping (see 'By The Way', 'Dani California', most of their output for the last 10 years). But hey, they must be onto something if they can entertain stadiums full of people chirping along with 'rib-skib-flibby-dibby-up-rap-big-jabby-jabby' for three hours at a time. (Andrew Trendell)

  • The Rolling Stones: Again, some undeniably great moments. No one can take away their place in history, just put them up there with their peers like Bowie and The Beatles and they just don't seem to push anything forward in the same kind of way. I know they were 'dangerous' at the time (or 'dirty buggers' as my nan used to call them) and I get what they represented, but those decades of pillaging the blues and singing about women who don't love them or the sex they want etc has painted them into a kind of cartoon of rock n' roll. I just find it quite hard to get excited about them. (Andrew Trendell)

  • James Bay: How original. A guy with a hat who plays the guitar and sings love songs. (Sara Hailan)

  • Imagine Dragons: WHAT ARE THEY? Are they pop, rock, or just shit? How are this band so big when they seem incapable of writing a song that isn't asking for Radio 1 to pillage their album. Not only that, but they use ridiculous instruments for a full band. I mean, a mandolin? Paul McCartney tried making those cool (remember that?) and failed miserably. If I'm listening to a band, I don't want to be left bereft of understanding. But that's exactly what Imagine Dragons do. They confuse me. (Sam Meaghan)

  • Blur: I know how talented Damon Albarn is. Gorillaz, after all, were an innovative concept carried through into exciting and varied music. But Blur. Blur just seem like the most prominent example of an era that put mediocrity on a pedestal, and held up one sort of music as objectively superior. They played Isle Of Wight Festival, and I really tried to enjoy it. I just couldn’t. (Alexandra Pollard)

  • Future: When did it become acceptable to mumble on a record? While he may have a knack for making the hottest club records on the planet, his lyrical content is, well... hard to follow. Not because he’s a complex wordsmith that could rival the likes of Raekwon or Nas, but because you can’t understand anything he’s saying - apart from perhaps, “Jumpman, Jumpman, Jumpman, Jumpman.” A completely different rapper to when he was a part of dirty south collective Da Connect, he’s now the poster child for a new sub-genre of rap known as trap, yet to real hip hop fans trap is Young Jeezy, T.I., and Gucci Mane. It’s not Future, Young Thug or Rich Homie Quan. So essentially, he’s the leader of a sub-genre that is using another genre’s title incorrectly. (Will Lavin)

  • Adele: I find it incredibly cheesy, and her stage performance reminds me of the glitzy surroundings of X Factor or Popstars. I'm not doubting she can sing, though. (Cai Trefor)


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