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YouTube Steps Up Music Royalty Payments – Digital Gabe
Digital Gabe
Cutting Edge Commentary On All Things Media

YouTube Steps Up Music Royalty Payments

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For years artists and songwriters have complained that YouTube doesn’t pay its fair share in royalties for the music streamed on its platform.  Instead of the normal compulsory or label direct licensing arrangements, YouTube is covered under a “safe harbor” loophole which allows them to rev share money made from streaming with the music industry.  It’s generally assumed that this arrangement has allowed YouTube to short pay royalties, but it looks like things may be changing.

According to Google (YouTube’s parent co), they’ve paid out $1.8B in music streaming royalties over the past 12 months.  That amount is surprisingly high – totaling 10% of total global music revenue and 24% of global music streaming revenue.  Granted, this stat is self-reported by Google, so it’s hard to know if its accurate.  But if they’re paying anywhere near that amount the music biz will suddenly have one less thing to complain about.


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