BPI response to RBB Report: 'Value of YouTube to the Music Industry - Paper 1 - Cannibalisation'

The Google-commissioned RBB Economics report: Value of YouTube to the Music Industry: Paper 1 – Cannibalisation”  draws a number of conclusions on the value of YouTube’s contribution to the music industry which the BPI wishes to challenge.

Geoff Taylor, Chief Executive BPI & BRIT Awards, said:

“Despite its misleading headlines, the data in this Google-commissioned report reinforces the fact that YouTube is having a negative impact on revenues from recorded music.

“RBB’s report for Google confirms that a significant proportion of YouTube consumption would move to onto a higher value service if music were not available on YouTube.  RBB’s data shows that nearly a fifth of YouTube usage in the UK would divert onto higher value platforms, such as paid subscription services.  If that usage were evenly distributed among YouTube’s users and 19 per cent of YouTube users chose to take out a music subscription, it would generate approximately £415 million per annum additional retail spend on music - doubling the current value of the UK streaming market.  Even if only half this number chose to subscribe, the shift would still make an enormous difference to the UK’s artists, songwriters and labels and to the growth of our digital music sector.

“This data therefore reinforces the argument that creators have been making about the Value Gap for some time. YouTube continues to rely on a legal loophole to pay only a tiny fraction of the rate that competing services such as Spotify and Apple pay for music.  This patently unfair distortion in the digital content market must be fixed once and for all, and we again call on the UK Government and on EU policymakers to clarify that online platforms must secure fair arms' length licences for the content that they commercially exploit." 


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