In case you haven’t been following the perennial battle between the music industry and streaming services, record companies and artists are currently none-too-pleased with the royalty rates they receive from YouTube and other services.
So, in news that will surprise few of those who have been keeping up, British recording artists actually earned more from vinyl sales than they did from 26.9 billion UK music video streams last year.
The BPI says the industry made £25.1m on the 2 million vinyl records sold in the UK during 2015, the highest number since 1994.
That compares with the £24.4 million brought in via YouTube and similar services like Vevo. That’s despite the number of streams jumping 88 per cent during the year.
Related: The high-tech vinyl revival is on
Geoff Taylor, the chief executive of the BPI said: “Dominant tech platforms like YouTube are able to abuse liability protections as royalty havens, dictating terms so they can grab the value from music for themselves, at the expense of artists.
“The long-term consequences of this will be serious, reducing investment in new music, making it difficult for most artists to earn a living, and undermining the growth of more innovative services like Spotify and Apple Music that pay more fairly for the music they use.”
YouTube, naturally, defended itself in a statement given to the Guardian.
It says its Content ID system has enabled artists to combat piracy by deciding whether to have unauthorised use of music removed or to license and earn money from it.
The company said: “Today, revenue from Content ID represents 50% of what we pay out annually. In fact, ad-supported music streaming enables revenue from an audience that has never before paid for music.
“As more advertising money comes online, this will grow to match consumption. Comparisons to other audio-only, subscription music services are apples to oranges.”
YouTube has become the focus of artists’ ire in recent months.
Former Motley Crüe bassist Nikki Sixx called on YouTube to ‘do the right thing’ and boost payouts for artists, believed to a sixth of what Apple and Spotify offers.