I was reading a post today on Re/code about an open letter from Irving Azoff. Irving Azoff was putting Youtube on blast for what it has done to the music industry. I couldn’t even finish reading the whole thing becasue it was such a load of garbage to me. The music industry, artists, producers, record labels have all been complaining for a very long time now that the music industry is not making money. All while driving their Bentleys to million dollar mansions and leaving monkeys in different countries. Meanwhile I have boxes filled with CDs. This is what I have for the thousands of dollars I’ve spent over the years. So I feel no remorse for the Taylor Swifts of the music business. Just in case you had any doubts about those Bentleys and mansions take a look at this post. Who I feel remorse for are the indie artists who are struggling to make a living doing what they love. The ones who the record companies have not seen fit to bless with a contract.
The music business survived Napster, Morpheus, Bearshare and Kazaa. They survived, in my opinion because iTunes was able to put the genie back in the bottle. iTunes was able to convince people to pay for something they could get for free. This is the same iTunes that artists and others in the music industry love to say ruined music. Let’s just get real here for a moment. Does Irving Azoff care about music, the artists or the art? No. What he really cares about is money, dollars, dineiro and that is quickly apparent as soon as he starts talking about content behind “paid walls”. I’m not going to say he doesn’t have some valid points. But disguising the whole thing as if he is on the side of the starving artist bleech.
Youtube should do a hell of a lot more to protect copyrighted material. When a user uploads copyrighted material it should be taken down and the user suspended from the service. After the third infraction the user’s IP should be banned via their Internet Service Provider (ISP) for a year. Youtube should have reviewers and there should be some system in place or algorithm that flags potential violations. Perhaps have a number of regular viewers sign up for added permissions as reviewers. They are on Youtube already so why not use them to help the platform. They would have expanded powers. Not the usual flag this as offensive or whatever that is available to all users. Once they flag the offending media it should be removed immediately and put into a que. Then an internal Youtube team could then go through the que to either put it back up or take action. Each one that is deemed a successful removal by the Youtube team should then credit the reviewer’s account. Perhaps $1 for each successful takedown. Youtube is not a little fledgling company without resources. They should take an interest in protecting their platform especially when marketing a subscription service.
As for allowing artists to designate pay only media on their channel. Personally I say no because the beauty of Youtube is that it allows exposure to indie artists just as much as established ones. If Youtube starts putting things in place to heighten established artitsts’ exposure then the platform loses something. Sure fans head to Youtube to see Drake, Justin Bieber, Taylor Swift, etc. But they can also search for and find other artists who don’t have the backing of a label. Allowing established artists to start using their label’s dollars to boost their Youtube presence changes the dynamic. In my opinion Youtube should concentrate on eliminating their current problems and keep doing what works for them. As for Irving Azoff’s tirade, the dude is worth over $50 million so I’m not too sure he qualifies as having the perspective of a normal viewer.