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Metallica Co-Manager Latest Old Person to Rage Against Change; Calls YouTube “The Devil”

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Things change. Whether that change is better or worse is subjective; everyone believes that they lived in “the good old days.” But in the words of Clutch, “you can’t stop progress.”

You can bitch about it, though! Which is exactly what Peter Mensch, co-owner of super management agency Q Prime (Metallica, Baroness, Volbeat), has done. The BBC reports:

“YouTube, they’re the devil,” [Mensch] told a BBC Radio 4 documentary on the music business. “We don’t get paid at all.”

He said the site’s business model, in which artists make money by placing ads around their music, was unsustainable.

“If someone doesn’t do something about YouTube, we’re screwed,” he said. “It’s over. Someone turn off the lights.”

YouTube CEO Robert Kynci contests Mensch’s assertion, natch. He claims that while bands with unfavorable label deals may not be seeing the kind of payout they’d like, “The artists who are signed up directly with YouTube are seeing great returns.” By way of example, he cites a hip-hop violinist whose YouTube channel allegedly generated $6 million for the artist last year.

So are Metallica getting “screwed” because of their agreement with their former record label, or because YouTube’s payout structure blows goats? Sorry to be a nihilist here, but: it doesn’t really matter! YouTube isn’t going away anytime soon. Folks in the music industry can adjust or not adjust as they see fit, but that cat ain’t going back in the bag.

The silver linings are these: YT’s payout structure could eventually change, smaller bands that don’t make any money from record sales (or anything else) won’t be affected, and bigger bands — like, say, Metallica — will be able to survive off concert ticket sales, merch, licensing, endorsements, wages earned from the sales of their art collections, etc. It’s the mid-level bands that are probably hurt the most by this kind of thing.

So the middle class takes it on the chin. What else is new?

Thanks: Mary Cherrypoppins 

 

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