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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            is no longer the threat            once was, with just            of            video views from unofficial uploads
  • Three-quarters of            are official, and of those,            Vevo videos (representing            of all            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            were            million in 2015, up            2014 despite total views growing                       billion
  • Effective per-stream            fell from            to            between 2014            2015 due to market factors
  • Music represents            all YouTube views,            of time                       of ad revenue
  • YouTube and            rights payments represent            of music            ad revenue
  • YouTube &            are            of music streams and            revenue, but for ad supported                       of streams and            of revenue 
  • If YouTube            Vevo effective per-stream rates had            at 2014 levels, then 2015            revenue would have been double
  • Music needs            adopt YouTuber best practices to            revenue

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