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Monday, May 02, 2016

Don't Be Evil: Do The Right Thing

Don't Be Evil: Do The Right Thing

(Prince Always Knew Why You Can And Should)

Abided by: Nelly Furtado

LOS ANGELES, May 2, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Nelly Furtado writes an open letter to Google/YouTube, published by Tenth Street Entertainment.

I am a Canadian singer-songwriter and independent artist. This week I have been following the news about Google/YouTube's debate with Sixx: A.M. (Nikki Sixx'sband) and Debbie Harry. I applaud Katy Perry and the rest of the artists who have begun their petition on the issues. I am educating myself to understand the arguments and have found that there is certainly a lack of transparency and a lot of spinning going on. I want to outline a handful of issues because I have realized that this stuff matters, and if creators don't fight for what's right, who will?

I was lucky enough to meet and open for Prince and see him live several times over the years. He stood for pure music and honouring music with proper reverence. Prince's death reminds all of us artists to wake up and smell the creative coffee and go to bat for it. As I sit here writing this, I am listening to Zayn Malik's new album, absolutely transported by the freedom, beauty and universality in it; certain of the work and labour put into making it great. I am putting finishing touches on my new album right now, and I won't stop working on it until it feels complete, much like a cabinet maker or a window cleaner would do. We are all "working" class! This work is valid and has value! I love YouTube, but they are under-paying and exploiting creators and getting away with it. I know the truth hurts, but someone's got to tell it.

1. YouTube needs to decide to use their Content ID system in a more
productive way. It is interesting to note that they are ultra-efficient
at removing anything pornographic or beyond certain limits of taste. They
simply CHOOSE NOT TO for the artists' music, publishers, and labels.
Let's hope that the new ID system doesn't create profits for YouTube
while we figure out who owns what. Let's not forget that Google/YouTube
are a TECHNOLOGY COMPANY and unquestionably have the ability and
resources to solve the problem right now!
2. With nearly double the plays of on-demand subscription services,
Google/YouTube pays 1/3 the revenue to artists and labels. On a payment
per user basis, it's even worse. The average music subscription generates
$62 dollars per year for artists and labels, while at YouTube it
generates less than $3.50 per user.* That is 18 times lower than the
average revenue per user to artists and labels than subscription music
services. Saying that YouTube is used for video only is a fib, as so many
people "listen" to music on You Tube sometimes-myself included! Let's do
the proper payouts! People can still have fun uploading and sharing! Just
pay the creators of all this intellectual property properly,
Google/YouTube-we all know you can afford to! We also know that you love
music and deep down, you know this is wrong, and you WANT TO.
3. It is ludicrous to compare Google/YouTube to radio. Radio is programmed
analog streaming. You can't turn on the radio and choose any song in the
world and instantly hear it. You can't share a video with friends,
subscribe to an artist, or comment on a video. Radio in most of the rest
of the world has paid artists handsomely. U.S. radio is in the company of
countries such as North Korea, China, and Iran in not paying artists for
their use of music, and considering how much money music generates for
the U.S. radio mega-corporations, that's a disgrace too. And while it is
true that Google/YouTube pays more than nothing that DOES NOT MAKE IT
4. Even Pandora, a service that programs music like radio (not on-demand
music like YouTube), and is also largely ad-supported, pays around TWICE
AS MUCH to artists and labels as YouTube does. Statutory government
licenses, that include, Pandora, are also audio-only. They offer so much
less than YouTube yet pay double what YouTube pays.
Music is the greatest single contributor to happiness. It's time music creators got the revenue they deserve from Google's YouTube. Let's stop the spinning and let's focus on fairness from both sides. Stop confusing the fans and consumers by putting creators like Debby Harry and Nikki Sixx on blast for questioning your practices. Let's dispense the details and numbers, which can be confusing. The independent community is asking for a minimum per-view guarantee at least as great as existing services that have a free tier, if not greater, because video has a higher value than just audio.

Finally, the independent artists and labels are only asking parity with the major music labels. Our music is as valuable as theirs. We are all artists. We are all songwriters. We all have a voice. From one independent artist to every artist, let's fight for the future of what Prince helped to create: The Holy Church Of Music. My message to You Tube/Google is-- put a little more in the collection basket when you come pray here please. Amen.

*figures from A2IM (

Media Contact: Rachel Rosenberg, 212-293-8430,

SOURCE Tenth Street Entertainment

Tenth Street Entertainment

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