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.