SXSW Panel: Thank You for Letting Us Take Your Money

How does one get paid by YouTube?

If you’re a half-empty kind of person, this panel was probably a bit depressing. If you’re a half-fuller, it was more crisis-tunistic. The problem, even for the latter group, is that the necessary background to understand how to exploit a system that’s not working in your favor is so dense and tedious that it exhausted most of the panel’s time.

Photo by Gary Miller

So, by the time that panel moderators, George Howard, founder of SpinArt – home to the Pixies – and Jeff Price, who started Rykodisc, got through explaining the legal intricacies, there wasn’t much time left to explain how to actually get paid by YouTube – one of the points of the panel.

In fact, the panel basically ended with one guy in the audience raising his hand to say (roughly), “I wrote a song for Nicky Minaj. My baby needs diapers. How do I get paid from all the videos on YouTube?”

There’s no easy answer, of course. And that’s bad, because, as Price noted, “YouTube is the sleeping giant of the music industry.” He even backed it by saying 64% of teens consume music through YouTube. It was all a bit much even for people with a basic grasp on the legalities.

A money quote from Howard: “Exploit the information assymetry. And right now there are all sorts of anomalies out there.”

Knowing where to look for those would’ve required getting up before noon to get to a panel.

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Greg Howard, Jeff Price, SXSW Music 2014, YouTube, Nicky Minaj, Pixies, SpinArt, Rykodisc

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