IFPI refutes YouTube's $1 billion music industry investment claim

IFPI refutes YouTube's $1 billion music industry investment claim

The IFPI has issued a statement which says YouTube is not paying “anything like a fair rate” to the music industry.

The body, which represents the recording industry worldwide, released the statement in response to stories circulating on Tuesday (December 6) reporting that YouTube paid $1 billion to labels and publishers over the past 12 months, all of which was generated through advertisments.

The $1bn figure was first quoted in a blog post by YouTube’s chief business officer Robert Kyncl.

The full IFPI statement reads: “Google has today issued more unexplained numbers on what it claims YouTube pays the music industry. The announcement gives little reason to celebrate, however. With 800 million music users worldwide, YouTube is generating revenues of just over US$1 per user for the entire year. This pales in comparison to the revenue generated by other services, ranging from Apple to Deezer to Spotify. For example, in 2015 Spotify alone paid record labels some US$2 billion, equivalent to an estimated US$18 per user.

“YouTube, the world’s largest on-demand music service, is not paying artists and producers anything like a fair rate for music. This highlights more than ever the need for legislative action to address the “value gap” that is denying music rights holders a fair return for their work. 

Last month, the American music community appealed to the government to support the value gap proposal in the European Union Copyright Directive. Signatories wrote “to ask that our government support the interests of its creative music community by supporting Article 13 of the Copyright Directive recently proposed by the European Commission, which was a welcome and enormously important development for American music and the entire American creative economy.”

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