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All that free music on YouTube is good for you, Google tells music biz

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Megaphone

Depends how honest you are, most people given the option of something for nothing or paying for it will opt for the freebie. I like a lot of niche heavy metal music, being niche means they have small numbers of fans which means they're often extremely grateful to their fans for their support. I tend to buy all the music like as I know the money goes right into the band's pocket. I find YouTube useful for finding new music, I'll take a look at the band's website and make a purchase if they have the music available, failing that if the free music they gave away is good enough I'll buy a shirt.

I know there are many people who do the same thing within their chosen niche music interest, supporting the music they love directly with the indie labels and bands. Just because we don't spend money with the major labels or make purchases through the big channels like Amazon doesn't mean we don't pay for our enjoyment or support the music industry. We simply choose to support a particular music industry, We support an industry that still believes in supporting its musicians and doesn't treat them like dirt like the major's do.

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Facepalm

Unexpected footnote

"Google gives this away for free*"

Fully expected to find "* unless you count your privacy as currency" as the footnote when I scrolled down...

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Re: Unexpected footnote

Worse still, Google are actually being paid to provide the service, and they in turn pay the users who upload the content via the Ads...

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Boffin

@RyokuMas ... Re: Unexpected footnote

Uhm actually, its not 'free'.

First, Google embeds adverts not only on the page but also in the stream. In addition, they capture data about you the viewer. So they gain value from presenting the data with no physical cost (actual payment) to you, however, you are still providing value to them.

Note: I agree with your post... because you are exchanging your privacy , however I wanted to point out that it goes beyond that because they are accepting ad revenue, not to mention they are paying the individuals who uploaded the potentially stolen material.

IMHO, Google does have a way of determining if the content is in fact copyrighted yet they don't really want to do that.

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Re: @RyokuMas ... Unexpected footnote

Google don't have a reliable way od spotting copyright violations.

That hasn't stopped them taking down or redirecting revenue of many legitimate videos due to false positives in their content id system, because at the end of the day they don't care either way.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Unexpected footnote

"Fully expected to find "* unless you count your privacy as currency" as the footnote when I scrolled down"

Exactly. Slurp make most of their money by reading your emails, watching everything you do, building a profile and selling it to advertisers and anyone else willing to pay for it....

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Why doesn't Spotify then let me upload music files to benefit from user-uploaded content? They can then get away with music piracy as well (as YouTube, not me obviously).

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Anonymous Coward

because Spotify has contracts for the music so if it started offering other recordings for artists already signed or under the same management they would pull them out.

I also don't think the UGC argument would work if you were making money off it.

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I also don't think the UGC argument would work if you were making money off it.

The only people who don't make money off Youtube are those who originally produce the content. Everyone else makes out like bandits*.

*Just how do bandits make out though? Do they shave their stubble first?

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Megaphone

Radio?

Music has been free on radio of decades. It has not stopped people from buying music. Even in the internet age there are dedicated genre stations which serve music 24/7. Yet big bands/acts are still millionaires. You need to hear music before you know you like it and perhaps buy it. It is the quality of youtube that is a problem, if there is one.

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LDS
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Re: Radio?

1) FM radio quality was still FM quality (and AM was even worse). What's the quality of a internet radio?

2) Broadcasters do their best not to let you record a song from the beginning to the end as if it was from an album (or whatever is close to it now).

While it's fairly easy to turn a YouTube video into a good MP3.

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Ogi
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Re: Radio?

> 1) FM radio quality was still FM quality (and AM was even worse). What's the quality of a internet radio?

It varies. On youtube the music videos range from acceptable quality to poorly transcoded clipped songs done by someone completely ignorant of how to make a recording. FM radio was pretty good quality in comparison, 32KHz rather than 44.1Khz of CD, but pretty good, and in general was mastered by professionals so everything was the same loudness (except the adverts, but that is another issue).

On actual streaming radio stations, it again varies. Quite a lot go as low a bitrate as possible (I have seen 48kbit/s AAC) because bandwidth is a cost, and the lower your bitrate, the more listeners you can cram in down a pipe. These usually sound worse than FM Radio.

Some radio stations (usually ones with actual adverts who make money) will be higher, between 128-320kbit/s mp3/aac. These do sound pretty good.

The streaming radio stations usually have decent mastering, I guess some sort of automatic system that matches line levels of the different songs and adverts, so still better than youtube.

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Re: Radio?

What's the quality of a internet radio? You pick your poison anything from 32kbps mp3 to 320kbps AAC. there are plugins that will record any of the streams, it even names them and cuts the crap out in between tracks. Some stations don't advertise. Just listen for a couple of hours and fill your boots. It has pointed me the way of music i'd never get to hear otherwise.

Go back in time and FM was all there was. It didn't stop anyone getting rich then and neither will the 'net or youtube.

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Pirate

@King Jack ... Re: Radio?

Radio isn't 'free'.

You as a listener may not be paying to hear the music, but you also have to listen to advertisements who's revenues fund the station which in turn has to pay for the music that they play.

So the artists get paid for air time at a rate that is negotiated/set and different from concerts.

Most of the money from bands comes from concerts and merchandise sales.

Here's the flaw in Google's argument...

Suppose you create a channel and you upload a set of Iron Maiden songs / videos, etc ... and people come to your station... you didn't create the Iron Maiden songs / material, you in fact stole it.

But until Iron Maiden or their producers file a DCMA take down request, you are going to be compensated by Google if the number of eyeballs hits a certain threshold. So you make money, not the artist.

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Re: Radio?

FM with quieting signal is often better than MP3 and only exceeded by DECENTLY mastered CDs. DAB and DVB "radio" audio is often lower quality.

Radio stations pay royalties, though USA stations don't pay as much.

Music in TV, Adverts or Film is seriously expensive.

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Re: Radio?

There is a great, yawning chasm between radio and Youtube. For example, I can't listen to what I want, when I want on the radio. I can't listen to an entire band's back catalogue on the radio. You're comparing being offered a free sample of cheese in a supermarket, to shoplifting the entire cheese isle.

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Devil

Re: Radio?

"Broadcasters do their best not to let you record a song from the beginning to the end as if it was from an album"

That's not really done deliberately. It's actually for the show format. A typical song will not end 'strong', but will fade or repeat or similar. And so, to cram more songs into an hour, a radio station (especially when AM still played music) does a fadeover, or cuts it short, or similar. 'Fadeover' is the old-school way of doing it, where you queue up the next song to start just before the old one is done, then quickly fade out the old one when the sound of the new one starts.

So the end result, to the listener, is a continuous "no dead air" sound feed.

and of course intarweb radio can be "streamripped" with reasonable success. Cutting off the head/tail of a song does not significantly reduce its value as being part of an MP3 player's song list. [you can use tools like 'Audacity' to clean them up a bit before putting them on your MP3 player]

and yeah, ffmpeg does a nice job of converting "youtube download" into "mp3 file".

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TSG
Thumb Up

Re: Radio?

Upvote für deutsch!

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Thumb Up

Re: Radio?

"You're comparing being offered a free sample of cheese in a supermarket, to shoplifting the entire cheese isle."

I don't care who agrees or disagrees, up voted for the imaginative analogy. Brilliant!

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This post has been deleted by its author

Re: Radio?

True, but the Deutsch is better! (...and I got some of it before I succumbed to translate.google.com. So I'll give myself a personal upvote with my cake... :-)

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Re: Radio?

"Cheese isle"

Do they do package tours?

I like a bit of Wensleydale myself.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Radio?

"FM radio quality was still FM quality (and AM was even worse). What's the quality of a internet radio?"

DAB+ can potentially be CD quality.

The issue though with music from the radio is that the DJs talk all over the songs.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Radio?

What? The analogy about an island made of cheese?

Aisle get my coat.

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LDS
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1) Looking at what happens when only *some* songs (which ones, by the way) were not accessible among millions may say very little. Ask Google to block *most* songs, especially the top ones, for some months, and let's see what happens.

2) Asking users pirating music to be sincere? C'mon!

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where is my global blanket licenses through taxes, so we can finally end all this piracy non-sens and allow people to listen and watch what they want when, where and how they want ...

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Tried that in Spain and everybody bitched about it. It was through a tax on blank media or "the means of reproduction".

The rights agencies bitched because they weren't making as much money as they wanted (although any sum shy of "all the money" would have bought complaints, I suspect). Lots of people bitched because they were being taxed on the assumption that they were going to fill it up with downloads; whereas there are many uses for blank media that don't involve filling them up with films and tunes. People who sold blank CDs and DVDs were really unhappy.

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LDS
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Thumb Down

"global blanket licenses through taxes"

And the how do you share earnings among copyright owners (and other involved parties)? It looks to me correct that people "vote" for the producers with their money. Otherwise you get some state or self appointed agencies that decide what share of the taxes should go to you - usually based on metrics that may be highly skewed, and will just damage especially new entries.

Nor I may want to be taxed if I have little or no interest in some media or contents.

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Joke

I think taxes on "the means of reproduction" are universally unpopular. Badda-boom-tish.

In the UK there used to be a tax on blank tapes for the same reason (thankfully gone), and the US has it for any CD-R that is explicitly marketed as being for audio (3% levy), but not for "data" ones, which is why there are no audio branded CD-Rs in the US.

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Anonymous Coward

What about the people who dont listen to your "music"

They did a blanket tax on cassette tapes, it didnt stop "piracy" it just unreasonably taxed those people who were using the media for computer storage and had no interested in your music. The majority of "artists" did not get a penny and so you are pushing for the promotors to get a guaranteed payment for someone else's work. Personally if music promotion was banned then I would be more likely to pay for artist efforts given that I would be giving the money directly to the artists I enjoyed rather than an industry who believes that they have a right to my hard earned money for zero benefit to me.

First off not everyone is interested in your "music", then take away all the people who have purchased the music already. Yet you still want a blanket tax when it is clear that most people do not want or have already paid for your music, talk about unreasonable entitlement.

Blanket tax is pushed forward upon the premise that everyone is ripping the "artists" off some how, no one should have the right to live off everyone else and give nothing they want back. To be frank the current quality of "music" is IMHO crap and I would be more likely to pay not to listen to it.

Yes, youtube is promoting and thriving off the back of unlicensed music distribution but then again not all the content is ripped and most it not even yours. Then to offset their abuse you have people listening to your music increasing the likelihood that they would actually pay for it, same as getting air time on radio,TV etc i.e. important if like the majority of the crap you require lots of repetition to get people to pay for your effort. If you want to stop it completely then hitting the revenue stream would be the wholistic and reliable solution by taxing advertisers who profitted by being paired with your content. They clearly have the money you want and they are sitting ducks compared with the moving targets you are currently aiming at who it must be said are also your potential customers.

This entitlement problem to my mind is that "artists" have been told that it is their right to become idle millionaires if they can only get a recording contract. Sadly the facts speak for themselves, the vast majority of artists do not become millionaires however distributers and recording studios typically do well even though they never have to learn to play anything but their artists.

To me it is annoying when some artists bitch that it is everyone elses fault that they cannot record something and live off it for the rest of their lives. Some artists think they have a right to dip into my pocket even though I made it plain that I did not think their efforts were worth buying and here in lies the problem with blanket tax, I am not ripping you off at all. You are the one guilty of not producing something I want to buy and believing that I am stealing something by not paying for something I do not want.

If you want money for your music then do live performances only and avoid the promotors, that way you get paid by each customer. if you work is worth anything then you will profit if it like the majority then you will notice quick enough to go do something you can make a living at.

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Bronze badge

Found Vandroya, a band I'd never heard of through YouTube, listened to several tracks that were on there and then bought both their CD's from their website. So, in this instance, the article is correct.

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Anonymous Coward

I don't get it

If a popular youtuber uses and Adele song as the bumper leading into their shows, they get an instant takedown notice and are threatened with having their channel blocked.

If anyone takes the same Adele song, uses it as the musical track to a "Lyrics" video that just scrolls the lyrics by as the song plays, Google does not stop them, indeed, Google often puts adds on them.

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Devil

Re: I don't get it

"a 'Lyrics' video that just scrolls the lyrics by as the song plays"

there are also a lot of anime-related "slideshow" videos that do similar things. They might have video clips from TV shows or movies along with the music content. Some of them are very well done (the old 'Aluminum Studios' videos come to mind) but it's hard to claim "fair use" on the sound track, yeah.

I still think the root of the problem is RIAA's revenue model. They need to _STOP_ doing the "recording contract" thing, and _STOP_ funding a dozen "crap band" contracts with ONE GOOD BAND contract. And THEN stop it with their monopolistic marketing practices, i.e. controlling what you hear, repeating the same CRAP [and rejecting everything else] until "you like it" well enough to buy it...

[except for short periods when they played music by bands like Muse, Metric, Smash Mouth, etc., I stopped listening to broadcast radio that isn't "classic rock" or a niche market like Jazz, because MOST of the stuff I heard was just, plain, CRAP, 'same old' CRAP even. At least on youtube you get a proper selection of things that aren't CRAP, legality notwithstanding]

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Well it's not as if the recording companies ever get around to paying the artists who do the actual work.

I've come to the stage were most of the artists I like have ended up running their own companies so I buy from them now.

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Anonymous Coward

full albums on YouTube.

Google needs to nip that in the bud. In exchange, the Music industry needs to be more attractive to paying customers. Spotify for £10 a month, if you aren't a student. They are having a laugh.

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Silver badge

Ummm....yeah, actually

This is a repeat of the research done years ago that showed a boom in the music industry correlated strongly with Napster activity. I don't recall whether or not they were able to show causation, but they certainly had good evidence to at least look in that direction. What the music industry was getting was basically free advertising. Things have change a bit since then so it's probably not as good for the industry as it was back when it took half an hour to download a song, but I could see the concept still working.

All the same when getting music from YouTube it's probably best to stick to the artists' official channels. That's what I try to do.

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Bronze badge
Megaphone

Hey, record companies!

Hey, record companies, listen up:

We will NEVER return to the days of paying 20 quid for an album full of mostly crap.

The genie is out of the bottle. Find a way to work with music listeners or we will continue finding ways around you. And eventually you will be obsolete.

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Anonymous Coward

Youtube, Audio Galaxy, freebies and buying stuff

I am one for free content and have been using it for many years.

Reason being is that it allows you to try stuff, see if you like it and if you do, you go to gigs and buy the albums. I've found and bought so much stuff this way and left stuff I don't like on drives never to be listened to again.

If I listen to something, I will buy it. If I don't listen to it, it costs me money by taking up HDD space and gets junked to an archive at some stage. If do get into an archived band, I can re-listen to them and buy their music.

Listening and getting into new music has become easier and I personally think it is good for the music industry. It helps smaller bands get noticed and junk albums to be pretty much ignored.

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Anonymous Coward

I filled my boots with MP3s over the years and it will be decades before I get chance to listen to them all. The point being is that the market is so saturated with music content both free and legal and free and illegal the whining music biz should be grateful for any revenue that comes it's way, however by the time the usual 10%ers have had their slice the artists are left with a gnat's fart of the amount.

Want to help music creators ?

Then go and see a band locally, my personal favourite venue is Band On The Wall.

Music is best enjoyed live.

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Silver badge

free music on YouTube doesn't deter people from paying

They would say that.

How much royalties do they pay compared with

A: European Radio Stations

B: USA Radio Stations (who ignore part of the royalties, AFAIK they don't pay "performance", only copyright holders of the music/lyrics etc).

Google's model:

Exploit users, get free content, make money from adverts.

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JLV
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not convinced

By its nature youtube is not an optimal choice for actually listening to music for a long time. Sure, you can stream it to your stereo or download or whatever. But can you go out for a jog/road trip on it? Without getting data'd to death? Seems rather easier to torrent if you're a determined leech.

On the other hand, it is a very good way to casually look up a new artist. The problem I have with the Spotifys of this world is that $10/mo for an evolved FM station experience doesn't seem like that much value, compared to Netflix. And it is not as easy and casual to just randomly look for a new artist when you hear about them.

Plus, you have plenty of free internet FM stations that most certainly don't allow lookups but otherwise scratch my online music itch.

Take Lana Del Rey - I don't even know where she plays except for YT. The alt rock stations I usually listen to don't carry her. She's definitely made it big starting there and I've bought her stuff since even though it is way out of my usual listening holes. But you hardly ever hear her much except on the internet.

This is no way a defense for the user-uploaded crap. Many artists upload on YT, but it should be their choice, not forced on them. IMHO, 1st takedown request is free, 2nd+ means that Google, with its vaunted ML skills, should know "hey we've been asked to take this song down before".

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Re: not convinced

Thinking about it artists uploading stuff to YouTube may be part of the industry's problem here. They can't control what we listen to anymore. They tried to shut down Lindsey Stirling, but thanks to YouTube she's a millionaire now. They tried to shut down Pentatonix, even broke their record deal AFTER they spent their savings to move to LA, but thanks to YouTube they're now one of the more popular groups around. There are dozens of success stories like that. If the industry had their way we wouldn't know who any of them were.

Maybe, just maybe, YouTube isn't the problem here.

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Pirate

Re: not convinced

"By its nature youtube is not an optimal choice for actually listening to music for a long time"

Who here has NOT done this:

a) watch video with sound track that you like

b) use a 'download helper' to get a local copy of it

c) use something lke 'ffmpeg' to convert to an mp3 format

d) use something like 'Audacity' to do some final cleanup so you can put it onto your mp3 player.

You could do the same with a movie that's playing music during the ending credits.

You could do the same with a TV show that has a good song as part of its content or opening or ending

You could do the same by using a tool like 'streamripper' to capture streaming content

You could even do the same thing by using an FM stereo radio plugged into the sound port on your computer, and a quality audio recorder that doesn't skip recording things every time the OS burps or a screen saver pops up (but the post editing would be a bit more difficult than with the others)

In short, there are many venues for capturing (legitimately so, under 'fair use', in many cases) content, and many methods by which it can be made into an mp3 file for personal use.

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Pint

Re: not convinced

"They can't control what we listen to anymore."

"Maybe, just maybe, YouTube isn't the problem here."

you NAILED it! have a beer!

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Re: not convinced

Why can't you take a jog or roadtrip with youtube? I don't get it. Do that all the time. I guess if you live in some backwater country you don't have 100% data coverage, but in the developed part of the world this is not an issue at all.

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Re: not convinced

Who here has NOT done this: [four-steps to get music out of YouTube]

I haven't. Too complicated. I find much more convenient to pay a $10 monthly subscription to listen to anything I choose.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: not convinced

Why can't you take a jog or roadtrip with youtube? I don't get it. Do that all the time

Apart from the fact my data plan isn't unlimited: how do you get YouTube to keep playing? If my screen is on, any touch on the screen stops the music. And if I turn off the screen, the music also stops.

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tp2

Competing against youtube?

Does this article mean that youtube has to follow different rules than everyone else on the planet? If I made a competitor to youtube, different rules would apply? I mean, I have web page up at http://meshpage.org/ which can compete with youtube, but is the rules for this web site somehow different than what youtube is enjoying?

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Anonymous Coward

loophole in copyright law

how is it a loop hole for me to take music/video I legally purchased and store it under my private cloud account? or on youtube with it maked private? how is it supposedly piracy?

I understand if I upload it and share it with the world.

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