Unsigned And Indie Music: The Youtube Controversy

Royalties in this digital age can be a big problem for unsigned and indie musicians. Many of the services that stream music have faced criticism over recent years. One of the more popular names mentioned is Spotify which has been said to pay a very little amount to bands, with indie bands often suffering the most given their lack of financial support.

Charles Caldas, an executive of an indie music licensing body, has decided the criticism needs to be shifted. He lays out support for his argument by stating that Youtube receives huge amounts of funding. Caldas also states that their rates paid to musicians have proven to be the worst, when all sorts of streaming music services are taken into account.

Music has been shown to take up almost 40% of the views of all videos on Youtube. There has been a billion dollar payout to musicians but it has been argued that it is not enough.

Youtube also has plans to change to a Spotify-esque music subscription service model. Considering how Spotify has not been received too kindly by many artists this is sure to fuel the controversy even more.

However, some indie bands do not seem to mind too much. The exposure that the bands receive on Youtube is usually enough of a motivating factor to release their music onto that platform.

A few indie musicians are taking matters into their own hands and putting out the information about their lack of pay in an impossible to dispute way. For instance, cellist Zoë Keating posted how much each service paid her over a year for her music. Not surprisingly and in-line with Caldas’ comments; Youtube pays out even less than Spotify.

Nobody knows whether or not the landscape for music streaming will be changing any time soon. Many music fans and bands are likely hoping the wages will eventually get better for all.

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