From Vinyl, To Cd, To Streaming... Artistes urged to get with the times
Radio DJ/producer ZJ Chrome is advising industry players to own their own YouTube channels, so as to benefit from the fruits of YouTube streaming.
YouTube.com, which started in 2005, has over time, become one of the leading sources for music and when properly managed, can be an asset to the creators of content including recording artistes and producers, yielding millions in revenue.
However, according to ZJ Chrome, Jamaican artistes are often late to the 'technology party', just as is the case with the current streaming wave, and as such, they have been blindsided for years by YouTube 'uploaders' who post songs without the permission of artistes, collecting revenue on their behalf.
YouTube currently pays popular channels based on the frequency of traffic, streams, subscribers and Google ads. But for quite some time, local artistes were oblivious to the facts, and many continued to allow YouTube up-loaders to post their songs without seeking compensation.
This practice, ZJ Chrome believes, has copyright infringements.
Future of music
The producer who recently raked in over 10-million streams with his song, Paper Love, performed by Chris Martin, believes streaming is the future of music, but first encourages the music industry to at least tap into the opportunities presented by YouTube without relying on YouTube 'uploaders'.
The Sunday Gleaner, spoke with Daddy Biggs, CEO for distribution company Platinum Camp Records and he too conceded that Jamaican artistes were indeed lagging behind. The CEO who has deals with Pandora, Spotify and YouTube, said artistes should get their business right.
"We have a huge deal with Spotify and we can get streamers on the front page of Spotify. However, when I brought digital distribution to many Jamaican artistes, they laughed at me. They didn't understand how the music was gonna change, but you have to realise that music has been evolving with the generation. We had the vinyl generation, then the CD generation and now it's the streaming generation," he said.
As it relates to the issue with YouTube up-loaders and copyright infringement, Daddy Biggs said due to Platinum Camp's deal with YouTube, artistes signed to the company will benefit from their songs regardless of who uploads it. He therefore welcomes YouTube up-loaders to share his projects freely.
"Under this deal with YouTube, regardless of which person uploads the song the artistes who own the song will benefit. That is why it is important to get credible distribution for your work. Some artistes will find the resources to record, mix and master. However the main thing which is to distribute and promote they will say they can't find the funding to do. The YouTube 'uploaders' will only be able to benefit from those persons who have no credible distribution deals and have their music all over the place," he said.
YouTube up-loader Krish Genius, has over 180,000 subscribers on his channel and has been uploading videos on YouTube.com, for over eight years. However, this is only his second channel after he was deleted by YouTube for copyright infringement in 2010. He told The Sunday Gleaner, that he no longer uploads videos for artistes who are against the profession.
"I uploaded a song for Mr Vegas and my channel was deleted, so I don't really upload things for him again or other major artistes. However, there are young artistes and producers who pay us to put their music on our channels and promote them on social media. I also started doing my own production in 2013 and I have no issues with people re-uploading my music because it's more promotion for me," he said.
Genius also confirmed that YouTube up-loaders are no longer able to benefit from the work of artistes once there is copyright. He says any revenue from streaming on YouTube will automatically go to the companies charged with the responsibility of collecting on behalf of the artistes.
Acts like Spice, Alkaline, Vybz Kartel, DJ Frass, Popcaan and others, have opted to use their own channel for YouTube uploads in recent times. American pop star Chris Brown, was recently given a diamond plaque from YouTube, for surpassing 10 million subscribers. The company also hosts its own music award show annually.