A while back I had a little situation with YouTube. I wrote a song one day and the next day I sat down on the couch with a guitar and made a little clip of it. A few days later, I got an email from the YouTube team stating that they had “disabled monetization” because they “were not able to verify that you have the appropriate commercial use rights for all included content”.
I don’t recall if I did a follow up post but, it took several emails on my part and several weeks (with no response from them) before they re-enabled the ads.
In one way it’s all a little silly because we’re talking about fractions of pennies but, in another, it’s just one more of those little barriers that stand in the way of indie musicians who try to gather all of those meager funds.
Like I said, YouTube never responded to my emails so, I never got an answer to how they determined the song I wrote a day before might be owned by someone else.
Presumably, there is some voodoo song recognition software in place that flags musical content on behalf of the big publishers and labels. I’ve heard stories about how birds singing in the background of a webcam clip get flagged as a Stevie Wonder songs and such madness.
Anyway, this morning I decided to start uploading some songs from the Trouble Ain’t Over record just so there would be a YouTube presence because, YT remains the prime streaming option for people looking for music.
One of them was for the song “Cannonball” and the video is really a rudimentary slide show thing. Pictures of the Telecaster, some chickens…really cheesy.
So, as soon as the video went live, I mean the very second it was up, I got an email from the old YouTube team…
Your video “Cannonball – Pribek”, may have content that is owned or licensed by CD Baby, but it’s still available on YouTube! In some cases, ads may appear next to it.
This claim is not penalizing your account status. Visit your Copyright Notice page for more details on the policy applied to your video.
- The YouTube Team
And it’s legit. I did opt in for some licensing stuff with CD Baby including YouTube things. Now, to my knowledge, CD Baby isn’t actively pursuing any real deal licenses for say…documentary films or commercials or anything like that. But damned if they aren’t Johnny-on-the-spot to grab up fractions of pennies when some random YouTube user uploads a song (in this case me!) and gobble up their share of the fractions of fractions…nice work Baby
A Pew Research Center poll points to more chinks in the FaceBook facade…
But the poll also found that many users seem to be getting bored with the website started in 2004. Besides the 61 percent who report taking long breaks from it, 42 percent of those aged 18-29, 34 percent of those 30-49, and 23 percent of users 50 and over have decreased their time on Facebook over the last year.
When asked why users were abandoning Facebook, 21 percent said they have run out of time to check in with the site. Some 10 percent “pointed toward a general lack of interest in the site,” an equal 10 percent said it lacked “compelling content,” another 9 percent said it was too full of “drama” and “excessive gossip” from friends, and 8 percent worried that they were becoming addicts.
Social networking seems less and less social as we go along.
Reading between the numbers, I would say that a big part of the problem with FaceBook is, despite all of the hype for years about the necessity of a FB presence for “branding” purposes, it is a poor marketing platform. Yet, it is thick with not only established brands buying ad space but every want-to-be, under-capitalized entrepreneur “inviting” and announcing every movement no matter how minute.
DMN has this from the Dead Kennedy’s, East Bay Ray, on how YouTube is sending musicians to Wal-Mart…
“YouTube’s deal is they split it 55/45, 55 to the artist, 45 to them. But, it’s after expenses, and so after looking at the financial reports, Google’s basic expenses are 36 percent.
So, taking 36 percent off the top, it kind of works out that they are paying 35 percent, and taking 65 percent. So YouTube’s profit last year was about $1.2 billion, profit, and they paid out about $600 million.
So, if they had done the same percentage as say iTunes, 30/70 instead of 65/35, that’s a difference of about $600 million. Now if you take a middle class musician, say, $50,000 year, year in and year out, divide it into $600 million, that’s 12,000 people that Google has siphoned the money off.
And that’s 12,000 people that are now working in the salt mines of Walmart.”
Ray’s math may be fuzzy and designed to provoke at the same time (hmm…fuzzy and provocative). I think the crux is this; YouTube has not helped the climate for the working musician but, it’s a little like Western Europe trying to reset the economy and production to 1914 standards after WWI.
Listening To This As I Write:
Start Running by Ride The Blinds
This album is from 2006 and MOG recommended it because I listened to Marc Benno & The Nightcrawlers…that is perhaps a pretty obscure reference point for most of you so…I will go with the more familiar post-Faces, post-Stones via Black Crowes and such take. Pretty popular turf, pretty crowded back road.
But, these guys do it well. A plethora of well saturated valves, drums sound big but have some air around them and the singer seems to have a knack for evoking the Brit Blooze shouters without directly copping them and, at times, he gets a bit of Daltrey in there which is a good thing.
An interesting piece from Digital Music News this morning…
It may not be the cleanest experience, but it is the biggest experience – by a gigantic and overpowering margin. In fact, nearly 40 percent of YouTube’s trillion-plus annual views come from music videos according to the latest research estimates. And according to our calculations, that makes YouTube Music bigger than Spotify, Rhapsody, Grooveshark (and Rdio, MOG, Deezer, and eMusic) combined.
So, YouTube gets their revenue from ads. They are able to sell ads because of the enormous amount of traffic (“trillion-plus annual views”) they get.
YouTube, of course, is owned by Google, the world’s biggest ad agency. So, for practical purpses this discussion is about Google.
I’ve been curious about how Google really makes their money and how much. But, it’s a tough trail to follow.
I can provide a little of my own insight because, I do recieve a bit of revenue from Google for using them as an ad provider and I have also, recently become an advertiser.
I have ads, provided by Google on this website and I also have some YouTube videos up which are part of the revenue sharing partner program.
I also have a guitar lesson site (Jack’s Guitar Lessons) that I have been promoting with Google AdWords.
In an effort to follow the money here are my calculations as of this morning…
Here’s what I pay Google, the average cost per click is…$0.74
Here’s what Google has been paying me per click…$0.21
So…just from my numbers it appears that when an ad is sold roughly 72% of the money goes to Google.
I have no way of knowing how representative these figures are.
However, looking at the example that 40% of YouTube traffic comes from music, it brings home the fact that Google doesn’t absorb the cost of providing the content that drives all of the traffic that provides the revenue. Sure, Google has it’s overhead but, if they get anywhere near 72% of that revenue, one has to wonder how much of Google’s overhead is “administrative” costs.