UK Music chief executive Jo Dipple called out YouTube for not paying sufficient fees to rights-holders during her speech at the Conservative party conference earlier this week.
The conference, which took place in Birmingham, saw UK Music bring together members of government with several key music executives from across the music industry, including Guy Moot, MD at Sony/ATV, Beggars Music Group founder Martin Mills, Crispin Hunt, chairman at the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors (BASCA), Chris Ancliff, executive vice president at Warner Music Group, Annabella Coldrick, CEO at the Music Managers Forum, ATC Management founder Brian Message, Professor Jonathan Shalit OBE, chairman at ROAR Global, Chris Butler, head of publishing at Music Sales Group and composer David Lowe.
In her speech, Dipple urged platforms such as YouTube to do more in their efforts to fairly compensate rights-holders.
“At the distribution end, we need all digital services to operate on equal, or more equal, legal terms,” she said. “Ad-funded streaming models like YouTube are vital for consumer/fan scale and reach. But YouTube just does not pay a fair price for our music rights’. It doesn’t have to as it operates under a safe harbour law thus exempting it from copyright infringement liability. Despite not having liability, it continues to keep 45% of the advertising it makes from traffic to our music and our music videos. It may not be liable for our rights but it sure as hell profits from them.”
Dipple also highlighted the damage that secondary ticketing is doing to the market.
“Exploitation in the secondary ticketing market is still a challenge - ripping off fans and causing significant harm to British artists and music businesses,” she continued. “UK Music is proud to support the work of Annabella at the MMF with the Fan Fair Alliance campaign.”
Elsewhere in her speech, Dipple addressed the disparity in access to music education between pupils at state schools and pupils at fee paying schools, as well as the need for more grassroots venues and studios for up and coming artists.
“Only 15% of pupils in state school have sustained music tuition compared to 50% of pupils in fee paying schools,” she said. “It’s harder to find grassroots music venues to play in, like the ones that gave Ed Sheeran and Oasis their professional fan base. It’s harder for young musicians to find safe, affordable, well-equipped studios to learn, to play, to record, to engineer new music, to create networks. Our rehearsal room scheme delivers just that but it’s crying out for TLC.
“We’ve relied on wonderful charitable donations from Beggars Group, who funded the New River Studios in Tottenham. What we need now is some structured match funding from Government to bolster these pre-commercial talent hubs. We could do something truly great for youngsters from tough backgrounds to find mobility and employment skills through music.”