August 23, 2011 at 9:59 am

Mailbag: User-Uploaded YouTube Videos, Music Industry Chart, Peachfuzz

Taking inspiration from my old pal Ben Patterson’s Here’s The Thing Blog, we’re going to take a crack at answering some readers’ questions today. If you have a digital music-related question or observation for subsequent Mailbag features, please, send it over.

Can you upload any song you want to YouTube?

Hey there. I noticed that you spoke of YouTube as a free legal music service online. So I was wondering does that include all the user-uploaded videos that contain music, or only the official ones? I’ve heard a lot of different things on this subject, so I was hoping you could help clear it up. Thanks in advance.  - Jeana

Yes, user-uploaded YouTube videos are legal even if they contain songs by famous pop stars that are used without permission. YouTube uses ContentID technology to identify the songs in user-uploaded videos, and then figure out whether the rightsholders have designated that song as one that is allowed to be on YouTube accompanying a user-generated video. If so, the user’s video appears on the site. If not, it doesn’t.

So, why is this legal? There’s no compulsory synchronization right for music, meaning that you technically have to get permission every time you combine a song with video or a videogame. YouTube gets around this because it has deals with labels — and as of last week, publishers too — that allow its users to pair their own videos with millions of songs.

The catch: If you upload a video that uses someone else’s song and it goes viral, they get paid — and you don’t.

Dept. of Chartsengrafs

Connor McKnight’s conclusions about a fascinating animated GIF that charts the changing formats of the music industry have circulated far and wide. We know the chart is not perfect (for example, it’s size doesn’t represent overall revenue), yet, but we didn’t make it. In the meantime…

In the comments section for that post, HugoMe linked to a chart he or she says shows the dollar amounts of music formats over the years. Jim Profit responded,

@hugome: Your chart is wrong as it isn’t inflation adjusted. This one is inflation and population adjusted, See [this] article for more.

He’s right; we were familiar with both charts, having initially been duped by Bain and Company’s faulty analysis.

Brick-and-Mortar Social Music

Finally, Winder Hughes writes of his plan to build physical social media networking hubs in metropolitan areas, called Peachfuzz:

Peachfuzz’s mission is to build a new global brand and cultural movement around becoming the “lifestyle epicenter” of any metropolitan area’s local music scene. Peachfuzz is creating the industry’s first highly scalable brick and mortar social retailing brand that fuses together a music-centric social media platform with a trend forward, music-related lifestyle products and entertainment destination that leverages the current popularity of social networking platforms to become that new social media hub for consumers to engage in such interactive platforms, where social networking becomes actually social and music is the draw. Based upon a planned 2200 square foot sized location, the Peachfuzz in-house, music-focused atmosphere will be highly differentiated by an acoustically-engineered music delivery infrastructure of well-choreographed streaming background music that rotates with systematic, short-performing “non-intrusive” live music interludes, which will become that addictive brand experience that draws customers back every day. In sum, the spirit of Peachfuzz is altogether about mixing music with the quick-serve, social-media lifestyle - a place for all people to meet friends, spend five minutes or hang-out for an hour any time of day, enjoy a variety of premium, time-of-day-varying concessions, browse music-related lifestyle merchandise, hear those great songs by your favorite artists that you ‘never hear’ streaming by, discover the latest new music, see talented musicians play, stay connected via the social media platform, all united under a magical, studio-quality brand experience that makes people crave for their daily music buzz every day!

That’s quite a mouthful… what do you think?

(Photo courtesy of Flickr/drakegoodman)

  • takingTigerMountain

    Sounds pointlessly complicated.  I’ve got a different idea.  Why don’t we bring back the boombox or the mp3 equivalent, go to the park and beach, and have fun listening to music together having only paid for the music and the boombox, and not having to pay a bunch of entrepreneurs to figure out how we can have fun together.