Expansion on the agenda for YouTube, Apple Music and Spotify

Three separate stories this morning come together into a strand illustrating 2018’s status as a continued landgrab for new music-streaming subscribers. YouTube is finally readying a global push for its YouTube Red tier; Apple Music is launching its student membership plan much more widely across the world; and Spotify is offering lovebirds a Valentine’s-themed two-month […]

YouTube explains how it’ll punish ‘egregious’ creators

Vlogger Logan Paul wins this month’s award for being the least self-aware social-media influencer on the planet. Shortly after sparking outrage with a video shot in a Japanese forest infamous for attracting suicide attempts, Paul had attempted to make amends with a suicide-awareness video and numerous apologies. Only to then return to his vlogging by… […]

YouTube to stream Brit Awards outside the UK for fifth year

Is it that time of the year already? We mean the time when a press release lands in Music Ally’s inbox about YouTube and the BPI, and *doesn’t* mention the ‘value gap’. The British industry body has enlisted YouTube as its international streaming partner for the Brit Awards for the fifth year in a row. […]

YouTube to expand gaming ‘sponsorships’ to other channels

YouTube boss Susan Wojcicki has outlined her ‘five priorities for creators in 2018’ in a blog post, which includes a promise to prioritise transparency and communication for YouTube’s community of video-makers. She also said that YouTube will expand its monthly ‘sponsorship’ model (under which fans can sponsor their favourite YouTube gamers for a monthly fee) […]

eMarketer claims YouTube is ‘close to saturation’ in the UK

Research firm eMarketer has published some data for YouTube viewership in the UK, claiming that more than 90% of people classed as ‘digital video viewers’ regularly visit the service. “In 2018, 40.4 million people, or six out of 10 people in the UK, will watch video via the YouTube app or website at least once […]

YouTube clarifies non-disparagement clauses in artist contracts

YouTube was criticised last month after a report claimed that the company is binding musicians to ‘non-disparagement’ clauses, in contracts signed when it is providing funding and promotional support for their video projects. The company has now clarified its intentions, and stressed that such clauses are not being applied more generally on its platform. “We […]

Elton John: ‘I’ve never downloaded anything in my life. Not even porn!’

Elton John held a press event with YouTube yesterday (24 January) to announce his farewell tour – a 300-date, multi-continent extravaganza that will start in September and run into 2021. While that news dominated the headlines, he also used the event to unveil a potted history of his career in music in VR as well […]

YouTube introduces stricter requirements for partner channels

YouTube’s latest response to what it calls “bad actors” on its platform are stricter requirements for channels to gain ‘partner’ status – required to earn money from advertising on the service. Since April 2017, channels have needed 10k lifetime views on YouTube to apply to become a partner. And now? “Starting today we’re changing the […]

David Lowery publishes 2018 ‘streaming price bible’

Musician David Lowery has published the latest data on payouts from a range of streaming services, sourced from “a mid-sized indie label with an approximately 200+ album catalog now generating over 200m+ streams annually”. It’s a very interesting snapshot as ever: both of average per-stream payouts and of the market shares of the various services. […]

YouTube Red to roll out to more international markets

YouTube is planning to launch its YouTube Red subscription service in a number of countries outside the US this year, according to its chief business officer Robert Kyncl. “In December we announced an agreement with Universal Music giving us the licenses to distribute their catalogue on the free and paid part of our platform and […]

Lyor Cohen promise: ‘We’re going to make you rich and famous’

AdAge has been profiling Lyor Cohen’s plans for 2018 as head of music at YouTube, including boiling down his pitch to artists, managers and labels as “We’re going to make you rich and famous”. That includes providing financial support for music videos and promotion for new releases, as well as the previously-reported plans for a […]

On-demand video was 22.8% of US music consumption in 2017

We reported on the latest music-consumption stats from the UK yesterday, but now Nielsen has published its data for the US, revealing even bigger growth for 2017. Specifically, sales and streams of albums and songs grew by 12.5% last year in the US, driven by a 59% increase in on-demand audio streams. Nielsen also noted […]

Some big YouTubers may be seeing a decline in views

Business Insider has been mining some stats for some of the most well-known YouTubers, and has identified a decline in their monthly views during 2017. PewDiePie, Zoella and DanTDM all saw their monthly views fall in the last year, as well as the number of new subscribers to their channels every month. The piece notes […]

YouTube and Universal Music sign new multi-year licensing deal

Despite the continuing rows over the ‘value gap’ and safe harbour, YouTube has struck its second new licensing deal of 2017 with a major label: Universal Music Group. The new global, multi-year agreement follows a similar deal with Warner Music Group in May, although both parties are keeping the details private beyond official statements from […]

7digital’s Pete Downton talks streaming, telcos, voice control and Apple

In the mid-2000s, Pete Downton had a PowerPoint presentation. It included a slide with a map of the world plotting Warner Music Group’s licensing partnerships with 40 mobile operators: a network with a theoretical reach of 1.8 billion customers. “There was a certain amount of truth in that, because we had deals in place to […]

YouTube music videos back online in Finland after blockage

YouTube and Finnish collecting society Teosto have resolved a situation that saw a number of music videos on the service blocked from being watched in Finland. The message shown to users pointed to Teosto as the cause, but this did not turn out to be a prolonged GEMA-style dispute between YouTube and the society. The […]

How does free ‘promotion’ fit in to the music-streaming era? (#SlushMusic)

“The industry’s problem to solve is we’ve been addicted to promotion for the entire time that the music industry has existed. We’ve always given stuff away to sell something. But that mindset in the consumption world just doesn’t really stack up…” The music industry’s view in the ‘value gap’ debate, at its simplest is ‘YouTube […]

Epidemic Sound gives its side of the Spotify ‘fake artists’ controversy

“We were on our summer break, because we’re Swedes and nobody works for two months in July and August. But that’s when the whole fake-artists thing hit, so we were surprised, but mostly offended. Granted, we hadn’t been telling the story that much, but there was nothing fake about this…” The summer of 2017 is […]

YouTube to promote US concert tickets on artist videos

YouTube has announced a partnership with Ticketmaster that will see tickets for artists’ US concerts promoted within their official videos. “Starting today, we will begin featuring hundreds of artist’s upcoming US tour dates on their YouTube videos,” explained a blog post from the YouTube Music team. “Fans enjoying an artist’s official music video on YouTube […]

YouTube co-produces behind-the-scenes videos for Camila Cabello

Former Fifth Harmony star Camila Cabello is launching some new stuff on YouTube: a series of three ‘behind-the-scenes’ videos based on the actual music video for her single ‘Havana’. The interesting point here: the new videos have been co-produced by YouTube itself with Epic Records. The first episode went live yesterday, with the next two […]

YouTube responds to Content Creators Coalition takedown claim

Yesterday, we reported on the claim by the US Content Creators Coalition (c3) that YouTube had removed one of its spoof ads protesting about the company’s music-licensing. The video was later returned to the service. Now YouTube has made a statement putting its side of the story. The post YouTube responds to Content Creators Coalition […]

YouTube criticised for taking down c3 spoof video

Last week, we reported on the launch by the US-based Content Creators Coalition (c3) of a pair of spoof video ads on YouTube, criticising the service’s approach to music licensing. A few days on, YouTube has landed itself in hot water by reportedly removing one of the ads, ‘Pennies vs. Dollars’, from its service due […]

YouTube Best.Cover.Ever talent contest launches next month

YouTube has revealed the launch date for its Best.Cover.Ever talent contest, which will challenge young wannabes to cover tracks by an array of popular artists. The competition will kick off on 20 November, and as previously announced is hosted by rapper Ludacris, with Demi Lovato, Katy Perry, Jason Derulo, Flo Rida, Nicky Jam, Charlie Puth […]

Demi Lovato YouTube documentary gets 3.5m views in three days

Demi Lovato’s exclusive documentary for YouTube has been watched 3.5m times in the first three days after it launched. The documentary, Demi Lovato: Simply Complicated, is a 78-minute long film about her current life, and is one of the first original-video music projects commissioned by YouTube to be made available for free supported by ads, […]

Vivendi Content boss: “My belief is that YouTube’s DNA is free”

Dominique Delport is the chairman of Vivendi Content and MD of Havas Group, so he’s an interesting figure in terms of connecting the dots between Universal Music Group’s parent company and its advertising-giant arm. He gave a keynote at yesterday’s MIPCOM TV industry conference in Cannes and had plenty to say. Among the points he […]

AEI Group’s Diluk Dias: ‘Vilifying YouTube is like moaning about the weather or Brexit’

“I am getting pretty fucking bored of the vilification of YouTube. It’s like moaning about the weather or moaning about Brexit… We are living in a time of abundant opportunity and tech companies are putting music front and centre.” Diluk Dias, founder of British music company AEI Group, had some firm views on the ‘value […]

YouTube takes on Netflix and Hulu: ‘Like it or not’

YouTube CEO Susan Wojkicki and content boss Susanne Daniels have been talking about the company’s plans to continue investing in original shows and events. Their interview with The Hollywood Reporter includes some bullish quotes on the prospects of competing with the likes of Netflix and Hulu. “I want our shows to resonate in a big […]

RIAJ research gives new insights into streaming challenge in Japan

What’s the most popular way to listen to music in Japan? Many people in the music industry’s first answer would be CD, given the market’s continued domination by physical sales. But no. According to research published earlier this year by industry body the RIAJ, the most popular way to listen to music in Japan is […]

UKF founder: ‘YouTube is a platform where you have to fend for yourself’

YouTube music boss Lyor Cohen has been winding up rightsholders recently with his views on why the ‘value gap’ debate is overblown. But amidst this controversy, it’s easy to forget that some music executives see YouTube as the industry’s biggest opportunity rather than its greatest menace. Speaking at Paris Electronic Week, Luke Hood, founder and […]

RIAA half-year figures reveal 17% rise for US recorded-music revenues

Paid music-streaming subscriptions are the star of US industry body the RIAA’s latest half-year figures, which show a 17% year-on-year rise in recorded-music retail revenues in the first six months of 2017. That means $4bn of spending on recorded music in the first half of the year, up from $3.4bn in the first half of […]

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