Earlier this month, Google commissioned competition-law expert RBB Economics to compile a study on the video platform’s positive knock-on effects for the music market – it’s now been considered misleading.
Speaking to Variety, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) said:
“The RBB study tries very hard to show that YouTube is really good for artists, even if they don’t know it.
“But it isn’t for YouTube to tell artists what’s good for them, or how they should promote their music. That’s for artists and their business partners to decide.”
The study found that “significant cannibalisation” by YouTube of other legitimate music channels is “unlikely,” based on the idea that in the absence of YouTube, users would switch to spending more time on piracy or file sharing.
The study, titled “Value of YouTube to the music industry, Paper I: Cannibalization,” was based on a survey of 1,500 people, as well as data on YouTube views and streams on about 5,000 tracks in the U.K., France, Germany and Italy.
The RIAA is the latest industry body to call Google out on what’s been deemed a publicity stunt.
The IFPI responded with its own statement on May 12, in which it notes:
“Google’s latest publicity push once again seeks to distract from the fact that YouTube, essentially the world’s largest on-demand music service, is failing to license music on a fair basis and compensate artists and producers properly by claiming it is not liable for the music it is making available.”