Nikki Sixx Wants Google to “Do The Right Thing” Over YouTube Royalty Rates
Only one week after Metallica’s manager declared that YouTube is “the Devil,” Nikki Sixx and super-relevant modern rock juggernaut Sixx:AM are asking Google to “do the right thing” over YouTube’s royalty rates.
The band’s statement can be read in full on the Facebook post included below, but here are some highlights:
This is an important issue to us. We are the lucky ones, like so many veteran artists, who came up in an era where there was much more income from record sales. Today, streaming is a fraction of income from that time. This is not about us. We are speaking up for the current and future generation of musicians who must be compensated fairly for their hard work. We would not have had Prince, Blondie, Bruce Springsteen, Ice Cube, Taylor Swift, or many other artists without a system to support and nurture them.
We support technology and its ability to bring music to more people around the globe. All we ask, is for ALL artists to receive fair pay. When Google first started, its corporate motto was “Don’t Be Evil.” That motto has since changed to “Do The Right Thing.” It’s time to live up to your corporate mottos, Google and YouTube, and invest in the future of music.
So, on the one hand, there’s some validity and nobility to what Sixx:AM is saying. The rock stars of our past probably couldn’t have become as huge and widely known as they did with digital music’s current model. The next generation of rock bands has a more treacherous and complicated road ahead of it, and web entities like YouTube need to tailor their practices to better suit the needs of rock’s future stars.
Now, that said, I can’t help but notice that both of the recent statements against YouTube have come from huge mainstream acts who would be making considerable bank from the site’s policies getting reformed. While Sixx may claim this issue isn’t about his band, the fact that he only sites other huge mainstream acts feels suspect. How in tune is Nikki Sixx with the up-and-coming next generation of rockers? Sixx:AM references Taylor Swift twice in this statement–do they only know musicians who they see on the news?
The truth is, for your average small metal band, YouTube is an invaluable resource in the same way that the tape trading network was in the 80’s. They may not make any money via their music getting played on YouTube, but they definitely get exposure by having their music readily available for people to hear and share over social media. A guy like Nikki Sixx doesn’t need that exposure, so his ire against YouTube and Google immediately feels questionable.
Read the full statement below. What do you think–is Sixx a role model protecting rock for the new blood on the rise, or is he an old rocker who is angry he doesn’t have another steady stream of revenue? Meanwhile, wouldn’t you know it, Sixx:AM are also shilling for an album! Prayers for the Damned Pt. 1 drops Friday via Eleven Seven Music.