Canadian Musician May/June 2017 - Page 38

illion es t it s y er sa yea r, bu sic provid t the i ndustry is unimpressed mu wo related themes have dominated music industry discussions and reporting over the last couple of years. From industry conferences at Canadian Music Week and South by Southwest to reports by the BBC and New York Times, there has been jubilation over revenue growth. Subscription streaming services like Spotify are credited with fueling a 5.9 per cent worldwide growth for the recorded music industry in 2016, which is the largest year-over-year increase since IFPI began tracking the market. In Canada, the growth was even more dramatic at 14.8 per cent thanks to streaming revenues 38 • C A N A D I A N M U S I C I A N p more than doubling. On the flip side, though, is fretting and even outright anger over the paltry royalties the largest online service, YouTube, pays music rights holders. Many have not been shy about their feelings, with Metallica’s manager, Peter Mensch, even saying in a BBC Radio 4 documentary last year that YouTube is “the devil” and, “If someone doesn’t do something about YouTube, we’re screwed. It’s over. Turn off the lights.” Maybe a bit melodramatic, but the point is clear and widely shared: YouTube’s current business model is a problem for the music industry. But how is it a problem,