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State Of The YouTube Music Economy Growing Tensions As Worldviews Collide

Report by Mark Mulligan
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The 20,000 Foot View  YouTube is the music platform of choice for Millennials and Gen Z and is by far the most widely used streaming service on the planet. But YouTube and music rights holders have never been the closest of partners and intensive lobbying and counter lobbying in 2016 turned up the heat. Rights holders need YouTube more than it does them but not at any price and they feel they are being short changed. Partial and context-stripped data have only served to confuse what is already a highly complex and nuanced set of intertwined issues. This report features the most comprehensive YouTube dataset ever compiled in order to present all sides of the argument in an objective and impartial manner. We do not seek to further any single stakeholder’s view point but instead put forward the necessary data, perspective and analysis for policy makers, legal professionals and music and tech executives to make informed decisions. Because ultimately a simple, catch-all solution to an intensely complex problem simply does not exist.

Key Findings

  • Safe Harbour-enabled UGC is no longer the threat it once was, with just        of music video views from unofficial uploads
  • Three-quarters of views are official, and of those,        are Vevo videos (representing        of all music views)
  •        of the top video streams are from user-created tracks (covers, paraodies etc.) and        of consumers upload their own music        of consumers are weekly YouTube music users, listening to        tracks a week compared to        for music subscribers
  • YouTube rights payments were        million in 2015, up        on 2014 despite total views growing        to        billion
  • Effective per-stream rates fell from        to        between 2014 and 2015 due to market factors
  • Music represents        of all YouTube views,        of time and        of ad revenue
  • YouTube and Vevo rights payments represent        of music related ad revenue
  • YouTube & Vevo are        of music streams and        of revenue, but for ad supported are        of streams and        of revenue 
  • If YouTube and Vevo effective per-stream rates had stayed at 2014 levels, then 2015 rights revenue would have been double
  • Music needs to adopt YouTuber best practices to grow revenue

Companies mentioned: Apple Music, ATV, BPI, Daily Motion, Deezer, Dubsmash, Facebook, IFPI,, Pandora, RIAA, Spotify, Tidal, Vevo, YouTube, Viacom

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