Spotted on BBC news… Youtube decided to block music videos in the UK because they failed to reach a licensing agreement with the Performing Right Society (yes it’s PRS but not our old pal Paul Reed Smith).
According to one of the Youtube’s heads this “regrettable” decision was necessary because the PRS wanted to dramatically increase the fees in the new agreement they wanted to reach (no more precisions about the amount of money asked).
The PRS claims that Google took this decision because they wish to “pay significantly less than at present to the songwriters” despite the ‘massive increase in music videos viewing’ on Youtube. Head of the PRS said he was “outraged, shocked and disappointed” by this move that “punishes British consumers and songwriters”.
Funny, it’s just like a shoot on sight game almost everywhere these days… On one hand, I totally get the position of the PRS that collects rights on behalf of music publishers and songwriters, in order to pay them and to fund cocktail-parties, lawyers and bit$£€#… woopsy… Sorry, I’ve been mislead, the PRS is not a label!! On the other hand, I also understand the Youtube move made under the pressure to generate more revenue since Google is on board. Music industry is well aware that no one wants a business that is non-profitable.. Not even Google!!
In a way, it just looks like a scorched earth policy coming from Youtube… Instead of looking for solutions to generate more revenue, they’d rather cut-off one of the major traffic source i.e. putative revenue source!! Don’t ask me for any solution I could have for them, ’cause if I had one I will already be on the bridge to convince them to hire me… But I still think there are plenty of paths to explore!!
This scorched earth policy is quite similar to that of the music industry. A few days ago, Michael Arrington from Techcrunch reported a discussion he had with a music label executive. To briefly summarize, around 2013 (maybe 2011) music labels will finally reorganize their business model around the (not so) new channels of music distribution i.e. Internet. Until then, thanks to some shark-skinned lawyers or saber-teeth financial analysts maybe (damn, they still trust these guys), the best strategy they came with is suing their consumers and ‘“partners” who are guilty of copyright infringement. Well, despite the fact that the cash generated that way is real (yet the youtube move tends to prove the contrary), I think it’s a huge leap of faith to believe in this strategy!! How are they so sure that 2011 internet will remain just like today? And 2013 internet? I’ll bet ya they will still be suing people in 2020!!!
The Techcrunch article reported the statement on which all the music labels strategy could be built on. ‘The big labels have a lock on talent, and there’s no reason to believe that new artists won’t continue to strive to lock themselves in to one of them.’ Yeah, maybe true… Or not!! A lot of talented artists are outside this circuit… That’s independent music!! CD Baby is a nice example. This online record store sells music that comes directly from the musicians. They have a lot of talented musicians there who sell there music with a pretty fair deal. By the way, my last musical crush is for Emily Elbert who is one of the musicians you can found on CD Baby (spotted a few days ago on Guitar Flame)
It’s surprising to see how the entertainment industry came to focus aggressively on consumers and users instead of just do what they are supposed to do… Provide and sell some good entertainment shit!! I know the so-called crisis is here to stay a while, and everybody is chasing short-term cash. That’s absolutely vital to wait until the storm goes away… But damn, how can’t they see that their consumers might go with the wind??