Google vs songwriters

Very interesting blog post by Rory Cellan-Jones.

neither Google – YouTube's owners – nor the PRS will give chapter and verse on their previous licensing agreement, but neither are they disputing the size of the payouts. But the problem, in the words of someone close to the negotiations, is that the PRS seems to have signed “a rubbish deal” – at least as far as the songwriters are concerned. And that’s because it was struck when YouTube was in its infancy – oooh two or three years back – and nobody saw it growing into a major force in the music business.

Now the PRS has demanded a rate per stream from YouTube which Google says is just completely unrealistic – and would mean the search firm would lose money every time someone watched a music video.

Mind you, the German songwriters union has apparently looked at what the British are asking for – and demanded a rate 50 times higher.

Later on, Rory cites research by Credit Suisse which claims that Google is losing about $440 million a year on YouTube. It can’t last, folks — enjoy it while you can.