In an editorial on Neil Young’s website (which features a newspaper layout and title, NY Times), the rock legend spoke out on Warner Brothers Reprise’s recent muting of their roster’s videos on YouTube. Young claims that his label is being “penalized for being early,” as they had signed a less lucrative deal with YouTube before the other labels obtained higher compensation for their artists at a later date.
“So You Tube is the new radio…..but not quite,” Young wrote. “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.”
Young then calls for “industry wide standards of artist’s compensation on the web” and suggests that the Internet could be a perfect place for artists, as there is nothing standing between them and their audience. Without “a level playing field,” however, these problems may not go away.”