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YouTube Pays Indies 10% Of What Spotify Does, says Merlin CEO

YOuTube NO[UPDATED] One of the many current battles between tech and the music industry is the size and fairness of YouTube payments to creators and rightsholders. Charles Caldas, the CEO of indie licensing trade group Merlin, threw some gas on the fire during a presentation in London.


Apple - Spotify

Music streaming “fundamentally shifting the shape and the construction of the market, Merlin CEO Charles Caldas told the attendees of Music Ally's  and the Music Business Association's NY:LON Connect conference in London yesterday. 

“There’s more opposing forces and more tensions at play… this obsession with per-stream rates and replacing the value of the album are things we’re learning to measure better as the paradigm shifts,” Caldas said. “We need to rethink all of those preconceptions about where power, control and value sits in the business.” 

Indies Are Benefiting From Streaming

Overall, independent labels and artists are benefiting from streaming, says Caldas: “Independents in the streaming world perform far far better on a pure market-share basis than they ever did in the physical world, or even in the download world." Indie market share even increases between free streaming services and subscription tiers, according to Caldas. “We’re in a world where the more people are paying for music, the more broadly and deeply they’re consuming the kind of music that we represent.”

image from fairheatingandairknox.comYouTube Is Not Paying Its Share

But YouTube is not paying there fare share, says the Merlin chief: “YouTube proudly proclaims they have a billion viewers. Spotify just announced that they have reached 100 million users. When we bank that cheque every month, the cheque from YouTube is less than a tenth of the cheque that we bank from Spotify, regardless of that disparity in user numbers.”