Yes you read that right. A music industry executive, a chief honcho at that, has finally got it through his thick head that YouTube isn’t the big bad out to destroy the music business streamer of all things cool, and stupid.
Those words came from Sony Music’s CEO of International Business Edgar Berger who actually believes that the Internet is the best thing that has happened to the music business and that you can’t blame the Internet for any harmful excesses but we should be looking at all the great opportunities it is bringing us.
Now while I wait for you to get back up from falling on the floor it gets even better.
Berger points out that if you want anyone to blame for the current state of abuse to both consumers and musicians the people you really need to be getting mad at are the music rights agencies, those are the agencies responsible for collecting all the royalty money – you know, the money that 99% of the musicians never see. In fact says Berger it is groups like this that are now preventing innovation in some countries.
In Germany, for example, most YouTube videos by Sony artists are blocked due to the music rights group GEMA, and not because Sony wants it that way. When asked why Sony’s music is not available on YouTube in Germany, Berger responded bitterly.
“It’s not because of us. You must direct this question to the German collecting agency GEMA, they licensed the copyright very restrictively.”
It turns out that the price GEMA want for views is too high for YouTube, and as a result the videos of some of the world’s most famous artists are blocked.
Hang on there bucko, before you get to excited about the idea that the music industry might finally be getting a clue remember this is just one man’s opinion and how it relates to countries other than the United States. When we actually start hearing this kind of talk coming from the CEOs of American music companies, and seeing that they mean it, don’t expect much to change from the current status quo.