YouTube's Big Traffic Stick Forces PRS To Slash UK Streaming Royalty Rate

from the who's-got-the-value dept

Back in March, YouTube began blocking music videos for users in the UK after it said the PRS, the country's music licensing body, was charging royalties so high that it was losing money every time a user watched a video. As Mike pointed out at the time, "Google is making the point to PRS: you need us much more than we need you." It looks like that point's been made, as the PRS last week cut its streaming royalty rates by more than half, and is now basically begging YouTube to remove the block, since the site was at one point responsible for 40 percent of PRS' online plays. It looks like maybe the PRS is beginning to understand that without useful distribution (like that provided by YouTube), its members' content loses a lot of value, and that in turn, moves it makes to hamper distribution (like high royalty rates) actually serve to destroy value, not deliver it.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    RD, Jun 1st, 2009 @ 10:42pm

    I say...

    I say YouTube tells them to go f*ck themselves. Hard.

    They tried to strong-arm them, and are now learning what it means when you pick a fight with a dog bigger than you. They deserve NOTHING, and YouTube doesnt NEED them. Cut them off at the balls, and teach them and every other greedy, over-valuing, big-content, unleash-the-lawyers-on-your-customers, screw-the-artist A-HOLE company out there a very big lesson.

    Adapt or die. Learn how the world works now, adjust to it, or die.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    icon
    Designerfx (profile), Jun 1st, 2009 @ 11:16pm

    Re: I say...

    agreed.

    We need a royalty rate of 0. It's time for reality and who should be paying who.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    cram, Jun 1st, 2009 @ 11:20pm

    Perhaps Youtube should start charging its users, so that it can pay more royalty to content companies. After all, it's bleeding nearly half a billion dollars a year.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    identicon
    Big Al, Jun 1st, 2009 @ 11:30pm

    Re:

    Maybe YouTube should pay the same royalties as radio stations ie a certain amount to the writer and nothing to the labels. Should be able to cover that from ad revenue...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    identicon
    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Jun 1st, 2009 @ 11:49pm

    Content vs Connectivity

    This is a point that has been made over and over, since the dawn of the Internet: it’s about connectivity, not content.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 1st, 2009 @ 11:52pm

    Re:

    "so that it can pay more royalty to content companies."

    This shouldn't be about what's best for rich special interest groups (ie: the RIAA and the MPAA). It should be about what's best for societies social benefit.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 2nd, 2009 @ 12:33am

    I'm not even sure how this is supposed to work. If there is a band in the U.K does PRS automatically represent them, even if the band doesn't do anything to request representation? If I start some random band and I live in the UK and I put my videos on youtube and people watch it, does that mean PRS automatically collects royalties on my behalf (though they probably never actually give me the royalties that they collect)? Can I opt out, saying that I don't want any royalties being collected for my band? If not, this is only hindering innovation, it's not advancing it. If I'm a band and I put my work on youtube no one else should be able to collect royalties for my work against my will.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 2nd, 2009 @ 1:56am

    Re: I say...

    No thanks. I live in the UK and i'd quite like some of my music videos back.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 2nd, 2009 @ 3:57am

    Another story where instead of reporting facts, you start trying to create something that just isn't there.

    "is now basically begging YouTube to remove the block"

    Please show me where in the story that this is discussed.

    It isn't.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 2nd, 2009 @ 4:02am

    Re: Re: I say...

    No thanks. I live in the UK and i'd quite like some of my music videos back.

    Shouldn't you complain to PRS then?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    identicon
    Musicman, Jun 2nd, 2009 @ 4:03am

    Re:

    As a UK writer, artist... You absolutly have every right NOT to be a member of PRS. This is a society you join so if you have, resign... Or do not join. Have your royalties collected via copyright control.

    Prs along with the rest of them are acting like gangsters! Fuck them

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    identicon
    Musicman, Jun 2nd, 2009 @ 4:04am

    Re:

    As a UK writer, artist... You absolutly have every right NOT to be a member of PRS. This is a society you join so if you have, resign... Or do not join. Have your royalties collected via copyright control.

    Prs along with the rest of them are acting like gangsters! Fuck them

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    icon
    Temple (profile), Jun 2nd, 2009 @ 4:12am

    Re: Re: I say...

    I live in the UK and don't notice any UK music videos missing. I went looking, extensively, several times after but I found everything I was looking for including recent acts like La Roux and Kosheen. They were available in HD too.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
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    braindead (profile), Jun 2nd, 2009 @ 4:50am

    being optimistic are we?

    "It looks like maybe the PRS is beginning to understand that without useful distribution (like that provided by YouTube), its members' content loses a lot of value[...]"

    i think PRS feels its getting the short end of the stick and i bet if they could sue youtube for black mail (or what ever else) that's what we would be reading about on TechDirt today.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
    identicon
    SteveD, Jun 2nd, 2009 @ 5:12am

    Pandora

    Sadly Pandora has announced that the rates still are not low enough to tempt them back to the UK. :/

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
    identicon
    John Duncan Yoyo, Jun 2nd, 2009 @ 5:13am

    Re: being optimistic are we?

    >i think PRS feels its getting the short end of the stick >and i bet if they could sue youtube for black mail (or what >ever else) that's what we would be reading about on >TechDirt today.

    Well I doubt PRS has anything to sue over. Youtube decided it isn't willing to pay the rate so it isn't running the material. Now that turns out to be more painful for PRS than youtube.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
    icon
    res2 (profile), Jun 2nd, 2009 @ 5:17am

    Re: being optimistic are we?

    braindead is an apt name. Refusing to enter into a contract with another party is not illegal.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
    identicon
    Nelson, Jun 2nd, 2009 @ 5:18am

    Ha ha

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
    icon
    braindead (profile), Jun 2nd, 2009 @ 5:22am

    Re: Re: being optimistic are we?

    @ John Duncan Yoyo agreed,
    I just think that they're not happy about this and decided to go along cause there was no other alternative.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
    identicon
    Vincent Clement, Jun 2nd, 2009 @ 5:28am

    Re: Re:

    Or maybe no one should be paying anything to anyone other than the initial purchase price of the content?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
    identicon
    Stupid Genius, Jun 2nd, 2009 @ 5:33am

    Re: I say...

    Lets compare for a second. Lets say... for example.. strictly an example... that i was a drug dealer. big time cocaine czar of some sort. and i decided that i needed 2 charge people double what they were paying for pure coke right. If they decided they weren't interested any more... i lose money cuz i cant move coke. The difference here is that the prs didnt seem to understand that google / youtube > prs. G is the top dog. and when G decides that you are charging em too much, G cuts u off and u lose alot more than you THOUGHT you deserved.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 2nd, 2009 @ 5:46am

    Re: I say...

    YouTube should actually charge them for providing all that free infrastructure to distribute videos.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 2nd, 2009 @ 5:49am

    Re: Content vs Connectivity

    Incorrect. It is about both. This is an example of a symbiosis between a medium and content. This issue is the content providers believe the value resides solely with the content. YouTube has shown them the medium is a large part of the value proposition.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 2nd, 2009 @ 7:13am

    Re:

    You meant -

    "Perhaps Youtube should start charging PRS, so that content companies have to pay more to reach its users. After all, it's bleeding nearly half a billion dollars a year."

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25.  
    icon
    nasch (profile), Jun 2nd, 2009 @ 7:27am

    Re:

    I think in the world of sales, cutting your prices by more than half is pretty much begging.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26.  
    icon
    nasch (profile), Jun 2nd, 2009 @ 7:28am

    Re: Re:

    You can not be a member, but that doesn't mean they're not going to try to collect on your music, does it?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 2nd, 2009 @ 7:34am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Well, then artists should be able to sue for punitive damages

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 2nd, 2009 @ 8:56am

    Re: Re: Re:

    "but that doesn't mean they're not going to try to collect on your music, does it?"

    So the RIAA/MPAA/PRS are nothing more than a bunch of parasites that try to freeload off of other peoples work? They collect money from work that other people do and they do nothing for the artists or anyone but themselves? Is that what you're suggesting? What a bunch of lazy bums.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  29.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 2nd, 2009 @ 11:18am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    ... and google and youtube aren't being parasites?

    Geez.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  30.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 2nd, 2009 @ 12:03pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Google and youtube are offering a valuable service and the author is willingly putting his stuff on those arenas. But he should have the option (and it should be an easy to exercise option) of putting his work on Google/Youtube and not allowing these unnecessary parasitic third parties profit from it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  31.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 2nd, 2009 @ 12:06pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Google and Youtube are offering a valuable service to the author and the author of a work are willingly putting their work on Google/Youtube. But the author of the work should have the option (and it should be an easy to exercise option) to put his work on Google/Youtube without having these unnecessary parasitic third parties profit from it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  32.  
    icon
    John Duncan Yoyo (profile), Jun 2nd, 2009 @ 12:06pm

    Re: Re: Re: being optimistic are we?

    >I just think that they're not happy about this and decided
    >to go along cause there was no other alternative.

    Well it is like not being willing to meet WalMart's requirements in a town where there is only WalMart. If you want to be in the market you need to dance with the devil.

    People hearing new music is the life's blood of getting any chance for people to buy new music. Screwing all your sampling venues will destroy your market.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  33.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 2nd, 2009 @ 2:17pm

    So, PRS, how do you like your crow cooked?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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