Warner Music Group pulled all of its recording artists’ videos off of YouTube over the weekend as contract negotiations fell apart, saying YouTube was not giving enough money back to compensate the artists and other people involved with the music. Warner hoped to gain more money than they were receiving through pay per view revenues and a share of YouTube’s advertising on their artists’ videos.
Warner seemed to miss the point here. People used to have ways to view popular music videos on cable TV. Channels like MTV and VH1 used to exist so people could see videos. Now, those channels have taken a sharp turn away from music videos and host mostly original programming.
So, the Internet offered a new way for fans to watch videos through YouTube and other video hosting sites. Not only are Warner’s artists being advertised but the company also gets to reach the customer directly on a medium that allows for free discussion and engagement. Some would say the big record industries are dying because of their greed and stubbornness. I would say they just don’t get it. If a listener likes a song, then they want to hear it again and find out more about the artist. YouTube allows for this and drives higher consumer interest and engagement which could translate to better sales.