NIkki Sixx urges Google to “Do the right thing, take care of the artists”
The debate around YouTube artist payouts flared up again in 2016 and shows no signs of abating.
Just two weeks after the IFPI devoted a big part of its report on 2015’s recorded music revenues on the “value gap” between subscription services and YouTube, the band Sixx:AM, fronted by Mötley Crüe’s Nikki Sixx, has called for Google to “Do the right thing, take care of artists”.
The band echoes the concerns voiced by the industry that the "safe harbour" provisions contained in US and European legistlation allow YouTube to negotiate from a position of strength and enables the company to avoid paying artists farily.
Sixx:AM's statements appearsto be part of a coordinated effort by big-name artists to bring the problem of YouTube payouts to the fore and pressure the video giant and - should that option fail - U.S. legislators to do something about it.
Sixx:AM’s co-founder James Michael acknowledges that they are “the lucky ones” since they sold plenty of records in their time, and that he’s concerned about up-and-coming artists who won’t be able to have the same opportunities.
The band is readying for the release of its new album on Friday: “Prayers for the Damned Volume I”, with a tour starting immediately afterwards.
Sixx openly states of being a fan of Google’s service, and that it has no plans to boycott the service. It simply wants to see the company do more to ensure that artists are treated fairly.
Between 2014 and 2015, a number of artists went on the record stating they were displeased with the royalties they were receiving from on-demand services including Spotify. Now, as revenues from those services are growing significantly, the attention is shifting to the one service that is grabbing the biggest slice of the audience and delivering the smallest payday: YouTube. Now let’s see if the music industry can really take on Google.