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Saturday, February 28, 2009

YouTube Company Clowns Just Don't Get It

UPDATE: A few comments that we've misunderstood this issue. Therefore we've adjusted the headline. Please provide further comments to clarify exactly what's going on here between WB/R, YT, & artists.

From today's NY Times, more background on yesterday's news that WARNER REPRISE PULLS NEIL YOUNG YOU TUBE VIDEOS.
By Neil Young, Reprise recording artist

Warner Reprise records was one of the very first to embrace You Tube. You Tube was in its fledgling stages when Warner made an early deal to work with them. Today, other labels have made more lucrative deals for their artists at You Tube.

So You Tube is the new radio.....but not quite.

Radio used to introduce music to the masses and was crucial to every new release, with identical compensation for every artist and label. Since You Tube has given some labels better deals that others, the Media Giant is treating artists unequally, depending on which label they are on.

Today's web world has created a new way. Artists today can go directly to the people. There is nothing standing between the artists and their audience. Freedom of expression reigns. People today feel that they should be able to get all the music and art that they want, from the artists who they appreciate. When that conduit is broken, the connection is weakened.

If all artists were compensated equally, and the people decided who had the hits and misses by virtue of number of downloads and plays, there could be no grounds for disagreement that would cause the facilitator of the art to break the conduit between an artist and an audience. That is what has happened to Warner Bros artists caught in You Tube's web. You Tube has a responsibility to respect the artists it facilitates and resist punishing them to make a business point.

It is time for industry wide standards of artist's compensation on the web.

Reprise and Warner Bros artists deserve what artists from other labels are getting. Let the people decide what constitutes success. Warner Bros and Reprise are looking for a level playing field. Until they get one, these problems may not go away. That is the essence of the issue between Warner Bros Reprise and You Tube.

(thanks Tony!)

As we indicated yesterday, Neil is clearly pissed and with the submission of FITR is now free and clear of the record company clowns at WB/Reprise.

It looks like Neil will have a lot of options on how to proceed with his next career steps. Given the music industry's ineptitude over the years -- witness the Napster MP3 lawsuit debacle -- we'll bet that this is the last dying gasp of the traditional music industry. But maybe they'll light a candle?

Probably the key line of Neil's memo is: "To many artists, You Tube and the internet are the new radio.". Streaming video killed the radio star.

Video-audio content will just move along the internet from YouTube to the next video service.

Will this be the second time in a decade that the music business totally blows a golden opportunity to save itself?

More on reaction to Neil Young's "Fork In the Road" video.


At 2/28/2009 11:36:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thrasher, I think it's you who doesn't get it and not who you label "Record Company Clowns".

I believe Neil is complaining about YouTube, not the record companies...

At 2/28/2009 11:56:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous is right, did you read the article? Neil is criticizing YouTube's unfair policies, characterizes the amount of power it has as being unhealthy for the industry, and defends Warner's decision to pull out. YouTube isn't the Golden God of Free Speech on the Internet, but one of the tentacles of the Google Corporation.

At 2/28/2009 03:56:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I also read it from this perspective: Neil thinks that he and hte other Warner-Reprisers should be getting more money from YouTube.

Hulu, he comes...

At 2/28/2009 04:31:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree it is the You Tube Clowns not the record company clowns. With all respect I suggest that you change the headline.


At 2/28/2009 04:47:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Indeed so, as I had stated in another thread...Neil spoke about this while Driving Lincvolt and seemed to make it quite clear he is on the side of Warner/Reprise for Equality for the Artists from youtube not being pissed at Warner/Reprise itself.
Stating that Warner was ahead of the curve in dealing with youtube but now suffering from what turned out to be a "bad deal" along side the newer Deals made.
Where's the AFM on this stuff? Talk about dropping the Ball. Come on Union Heads, wake up!!

At 2/28/2009 06:47:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thrasher - it's you who doesnt get it.

Blogger Clown

At 2/28/2009 07:09:00 PM, Blogger thrasher said...

Blogger Clown - pls elaborate.

I issued a correction indicating that I'd like to get some help interpreting this.

Based on Neil's statement yesterday, he was not pleased with label for yanking vids. That would make for record company clowns.

Now today, the new statement makes it seem like it's YT clowns.

maybe we're all clowns???

At 2/28/2009 07:42:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thrasher, here's the thing:

Childish comments about the music businesses being run by "clowns" sounds like a a 15-year-old from 1972 railing about how "big business" is ruining America. Grow up already.

Reprise and YouTube will work it out, withou any help from you, trust me...

At 2/28/2009 07:58:00 PM, Blogger thrasher said...

OK, here's the thing.

I'm sure you get the clown ref.

Are you suggesting that the execs that got them selves in this mess will figure a way out themselves?

Just saying they should listen to fans that have a clue.

We've been right all along the way haven't we?

Trust me.

At 2/28/2009 08:05:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Business isn't the easiest thing in the world to manage. Of necessity, we're all looking for an angle. That's the way it works and in the end everyone goes home with a piece.

YouTube and Reprise will work it out without you calling either of the "clowns".

Enough with the vitriolics.

At 2/28/2009 08:25:00 PM, Blogger thrasher said...

Not trying to be vitriolic here.

So how will WB & YT work it out?

How will the biz save itself from itself?

Why did WB pull a vid that they didn't have rights to?

We have questions. Do you have answers?

btw, "clowns" isn't my term, as you know. It does indicate a bit of a sense of humor, don't you think?

At 2/28/2009 09:49:00 PM, Blogger astrololee said...

Its a real shane WB has pulled the vids from YouTube. I went looking for Shakey's FITR last week and it was missing and I was pissed off. I been revisiting FITR and YouTube nearly every day over the past few weeks just to read the comments on all the vids I like watching. YouTube certainly is the new radio but if they want to keep users like me happy, start treating everyone equally. Hey I not only look at Neils vids, but many other genres of music too, and yes we will all go elsewhere to access what we want, when we want to.
astrololee - Australia

At 3/01/2009 12:12:00 AM, Blogger Mother Nature on the Run said...

I heard Neil's answer on Friday's live chat while Neil was driving LV.

For a lot of listening to what Neil was saying, we were thinking pulling FITR from Youtube was like cutting off the lifeline for this artist.

The goal to post videos on Youtube is to generate interest and publicity so you can sell your albums and stuff, right?

I realize Warner/Reprise is trying to make a statement here, but at the expense of pulling a video that was getting a lot of interest and publicity?

I understand the inequity that exists between Warner/Reprise and Youtube, but this is the classic of being between a rock and hard place for an artist.

Thrasher caught wind of what was brewing and somebody PM'd him with the story from the LV's garage.

Clearly his gut reaction was the same we all had when Neil told us why the video was pulled.

He was very cool explaining it but he was also trying to be diplomatic, too. The only person getting screwed is Neil.

At 3/01/2009 12:29:00 AM, Blogger Mother Nature on the Run said...

Mother Nature caught a little buzz tonight with the neighbors so her thinking is a little impaired.

The point is that when we all heard Neil telling us why the video was pulled from Youtube, several things were going through our head one of which was "Are they crazy???" pulling this video when it's generating so much interest?

Why would a record company pull a video that is getting the right kind of publicity and interest before its scheduled release?

As Neil was explaining the "politics" between Youtube and Warner, a lot of us were thinking how is that gonna fix the situation in the meantime to pull a very popular video?

Who is losing out here?

At 3/01/2009 01:32:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Thrash, now you know how it feels to be 'EDITED' hey!!.. LOL

At 3/01/2009 03:17:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well well, wouldn't it be nice to have Archives Guy back to clarify all of this for us...?
Personally, I wouldn't be surprised if he never came back here again - some people were so rude and obnoxious to him, demanding this, demanding that, and never happy with anything he/she said. I'm not suggesting we should have been sycophantic, merely polite.
IMHO, if we're out of Neil's loop and relying on gossip and hearsay we've only got ourselves to blame.


At 3/01/2009 09:16:00 AM, Blogger Mother Nature on the Run said...

There's politics and then there's the reality of the consequences:

Okay, if nobody can listen to it or watch it on Youtube, then how do you get the message out?

Word of Mouth?

We wait while the powers that be wheel and deal... and who's getting screwed here?

Oh, it's on Vimeo?

Thanks Thrasher for letting us know about that, too, otherwise we're pretty much in the dark, aren't we?

What's next, Grandpa?

At 3/01/2009 12:19:00 PM, Blogger thrasher said...

Mother Nature on the Run,

Yeah, I heard Neil in LV too. Boy, now that was too cool for school.

I guess I had hard time reconciling the initial statement which indicated being pissed at WB for pulling vids.

But then next statement indicated that YT was not acting equitably.

Like you said, I guess it's the artists getting screwed by both the corporate clowns?

I've requested a more detailed explanation of what's going on here.

I've only seen that the two sides will work it out?

Altho it seems there are more than just WB & YT interests at stake like artists and fans.

I guess if history is any guide, we'll both get screwed.

But let's hope for the best. If the deal isn't fair to fans & artists I guess we'll vote with our feet.


At 3/01/2009 01:28:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mother Nature,
YouTube isn't the Internet. There are other service providers and channels to get your messages and material out. YT shouldn't be allowed to gain a monopoly on it. Warner/Reprise could make select videos available for free on iTunes, though it presents the same concerns as YT, where it comes to hardline tactics and reduced bargaining power for labels and artists.

At 3/01/2009 05:44:00 PM, Blogger Mother Nature on the Run said...

That I am aware of, Darth Malt. But if you're just stumbling on the music scene, let's say you're 13 year old, looking for stuff your parent's absolutely hate, where do you go looking for that sound?

Through your friends, yes. But isn't it cool for a kid to be the messager, too? When one kid gets ahold of something, they turn their friends onto it, right?

There are a lot of kids who don't know who Neil Young. (There are many more who give a rats ass who Dylan is, too.)

But I betcha they're more likely to dig up the ditch with the sparks flying on "Fork in the Road" than anything Dylan put out recently.

So they come across this funnier than hell video on Youtube with this old dude crank'n it up...

At 3/01/2009 05:52:00 PM, Blogger Mother Nature on the Run said...

... and Dad comes into the room and says in a deep voice, "Who's that yer listen'n to, Son?"

And the son says, "listen to this guy, Dad... "

And the Dad almost faints, "Lord have mercy is that Neil Young?"

And the son says, "Neil who?"

And the Dad says wink'n to his son seeing how much he's enjoying the sound, "I think it's time we had that talk, Son."

At 3/01/2009 11:07:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dont forget how Neil is screwing his fans with the Archives, making them buy Massey Hall and Filmore again.

what a rip-off.

Archives is the biggest piece of crap...10 discs, and we'll be lucky if there are 10 songs that have NEVER been heard before.

Remember the Greedy Hand, Neil.

never forget!

At 3/02/2009 09:58:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous @ 3/01/2009 11:07:00 PM is back on the Archives-as-ripoff jag...

You are informed as of the content, you are informed of the formats and the price for each format:

Where's the "rip off"?

If it's not worth the money to you, then don't pay.

No purchase - no rip off - no problem.



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