Musicians, major labels have always maintained that YouTube was “built on free, stolen content”, and that it paid peanuts to musicians for their music.
But now YouTube says that it has paid $1 billion to the music industry through advertisements alone in the last 12 months. The company has indeed hit out at the critics with a very big number.
The news was reported in a blog post by the YouTube’s Chief Business Officer.
Google & YouTube Flex Muscles, Want Bigger Pie of TV & Music Business
Almost everybody uses YouTube to checkout the latest music videos (and even old ones). In fact, over the years YouTube has become essential for the survival of the ‘music ecosystem’, and its also a well-known fact that it helps & several ‘music artists’.
Being aware of their strengths, YouTube/Google now intend to conquer a bigger pie of the TV and Music Business, something that will pit them against legacy networks such as MTV.
They have launched the YouTube Music Awards (YTMA) (similar to the MTV Video Music Awards), and it clearly shows that Google/YouTube want to extend their reach in areas that has long-been dominated by broadcast and cable networks.
For long, the audience has been used to seeing MTV Video Music Awards, Grammy Awards, and other music awards, but the YouTube Music Awards is set to challenge them all. And considering their might, you never know, they could easily rival or probably even exceed them in popularity over the years.
Experts feel that this is a good move (and a logical one as well) as it gives YouTube the opportunity to take their content to a much wider audience. They’re already the number one search engine in the world for music; they already have a massive reach with a young audience, and so the awards is a great environment to show off what it has to sell.
Even though there has been some softening of video ad rates, because of oversupply, over the last several months, music video ad rates have stayed consistently strong on YouTube. Major advertisers are always willing to pay a premium to reach a young, engaged audience, which YouTube has in hordes.
Besides, the awards is just one development, YouTube has already opened posh studios in Los Angeles, London and Tokyo and are investing hundreds of million dollars to attract top video talent.
It just means, YouTube is taking direct aim at legacy networks as they aim for a bigger piece of that audience and revenue pie.
YouTube Symphony Orchestra at Sydney Opera House
YouTube Symphony Orchestra at the Sydney Opera House, conducted by Michael Tilson Thomas…
Watch this video of the YouTube Symphony Orchestra (2011) playing a spectacular Grand Finale concert at the Sydney Opera House. 101 musicians, from over 30 countries, are playing in this orchestra.
If you’re listening to symphony music for the first time, its surely going to be an amazing experience. In fact, listening to the orchestra is always an amazing experience.
The musicians met for a weeklong celebration of music in Sydney culminating in the Grand Finale featuring animated visuals on the interior and exterior projections by Obscura Digital on the iconic sails, all synchronised to the music of the YouTube Symphony Orchestra 2011’s performance and conducted by YouTube Symphony Orchestra Artistic Advisor Michael Tilson Thomas.
Debut YouTube Music Awards: More Misses Than Hits
Despite being such a giant company, even YouTube couldn’t get it completely right the first time.
For a platform of the size of YouTube, the number of viewers were disappointing – around 200,000 viewers at its peak. Most performers on their own would have done better numbers, so somewhere YouTube did a bad job of getting the word out.
For the sake of comparison, MTV VMA’s had a viewership of 10.1 million this year! With over 300,000 tweets over the three hours, it did have a fair amount of social action though.
The other interesting thing was that the YouTube Music Awards got a lot of coverage from the mainstream press, which clearly addressed a different target market.
It just means that leading companies dealing in modern mass communication, can also get it occasionally wrong.
Show Could Have Been Better
The organizers thought that a spontaneous awards show was in order, to more closely represent what happens on the platform.
However, despite several spontaneous videos going viral, when it comes to music on YouTube, almost every-time its NOT an impromptu.
Most hit music videos (hit means over 50 million views as per YouTube) are tightly scripted, the popular lyric videos have a structure, and the music follows strict production rules (not an ounce of spontaneity).
However, credit be given to them for trying to think outside the box and trying to perform live versions of music videos on the show. At times, it did work great, and at other times it didn’t.
Obviously, it seemed like a missed opportunity. People expect YTMA to depict more music diversity online, but there was not enough on the show; they did have the likes of Lindsey Sterling and CZDA though but I guess that wasn’t enough.
And because there were so few viewers, it may have trouble attracting top flight guests the next time around. But then, it could be good thing for the show in the long run, as they’ll be forced to take a different direction and may get more artists from different niches.
Despite the shortcomings, the good thing about the YouTube Music Awards was that it was not boring, and it tried to do things differently. Lets hope next year the producers manage to keep the good parts, & ditch the ones that didn’t work, and give us an improved YouTube Music Awards in the coming years.