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Nov 17, 2017 @ 8:59

Spotify, Apple Music, Deezer, Tidal push music royalties to record high while YouTube pays peanuts


Creators’ royalties jumped to a record last year on the back of the growth of music streaming, a global body reported Wednesday, but it said compensation from YouTube remained too low.

Writers of music, television, film and other content took in 9.2 million euros ($10.9 million) last year, a jump of six percent from a year earlier, said the International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers, a Paris-based body known by its French acronym CISAC.

Fueling the growth was music, with digital royalties soaring 52 percent thanks to the rapid rise in paid subscriptions to streaming platforms such as Spotify, Apple Music, Deezer and Tidal.

But within music, royalties from streaming still accounted for a fraction of the proceeds from music’s use in television and film as well as music in live performances.

The creators’ group placed the blame squarely at YouTube, the omnipresent video-sharing site owned by Google, which it accused of not paying back sufficient royalties.

Electronic music legend Jean-Michel Jarre, who is the president of CISAC, said in a statement that platforms such as YouTube “are paying mere crumbs to authors.”

“Collections are nowhere near the level they should be. Large industries that use creative content are driving down the value of our works,” Jarre said.

The music industry has long feuded with YouTube, which argues that it fairly compensates artists in accordance with the law. The United States in particular legally absolves internet companies of much obligation for the content posted by users.

CISAC represents songwriters, screenwriters and others who generally copyright their work with publishers, who distribute back royalties for usage. Performers have a different system of compensation. (AFP)

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