The Internet is supposed to create a new paradigm for the music business. But at least one part hasn’t changed: Musicians are still complaining about missing money. CNET says that music acts — or at least their managers — say they haven’t been getting any money out of YouTube, which has agreed to pay the big labels each time someone views a clip using one of their songs.
Some top music managers [say] that their clients haven’t seen any money from the licensing deals the four largest music labels have signed with YouTube over the past 18 months. According to a statement from Google-owned YouTube, the Web site is banking ad dollars generated by the artist’s music and is sharing that money with the record labels. What the managers want to know is why little or nothing has trickled down to the artists.
As CNET explains, there are actually several possible reasons, but all of them stem from the same cause: YouTube’s deal with the big labels aren’t transparent, and there’s no way for acts to figure out how much they’re supposed to get paid for their songs. This is par for the course for the music business, but it’s also the kind of thing that’s supposed to go away in the Web era.