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YouTube built on ‘stolen content’, says Apple Music boss

Google is under fire from Apple as the firm’s music boss claims that YouTube is a dodgy operation.

The Chief Creative Officer for Apple Music has slammed YouTube as “disingenuous” in a new interview with Billboard. Trent Reznor, better known as Nine Inch Nails’ frontman, hit out at the Google-owned video service over copyright issues.

During the interview, Reznor said:

“Personally, I find YouTube’s business to be very disingenuous. It is built on the backs of free, stolen content and that’s how they got that big. I think any free-tiered service is not fair. It’s making their numbers and getting them a big IPO and it is built on the back of my work and that of my peers.”

trent reznorApple’s Chief Creative Officer for Apple Music, Trent Reznor

“That’s how I feel about it. Strongly. We’re trying to build a platform that provides an alternative – where you can get paid and an artist can control where their [content] goes,” he continued.

Reznor isn’t alone in criticising Google. Back in March, YouTube clashed with music labels as the Recording Industry Assocation of America lambasted the low royalties paid to music rightsholders, describing the payments as “meager”.

Google hit back at the RIAA’s claims, responding: “To date, Google has paid out over $3 billion to the music industry – and that number is growing year on year. This revenue is generated despite the fact that YouTube goes way beyond music to include popular categories such as news, gaming, how-to, sports, and entertainment.”

Related: Best Music Streaming Service

YouTube launched on February 14, 2005, and was bought out by Google for $1.65 billion in November 2006. The service now operates as a subsidiary of Google.

Apple Music, meanwhile, launched on June 30, 2015, and now boasts 15 million subscribers globally. That’s still short of market leader Spotify’s 30 million paid members, however. In an effort to appease critics, Apple announced a significant revamp to the service during its keynote at this week’s WWDC 2016 event.

The Refresh: Catch up on the latest tech news

Do you think Reznor is right to criticise Google? Let us know in the comments.

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