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YouTube Music Key will put Google in 'firing line' for copyright

Daniel Harvey at Disruption Day. Pic: Bronac McNeill

YouTube's Music Key, the streaming service currently in beta, is "going to put Google in the firing line for copyright", according to SapientNitro experience design director Daniel Harvey.

Speaking at The Drum's Disruption Day, alongside SapientNitro's chief strategy officer Neil Dawson, Harvey spoke of how the music industry continues to face "infinite disruption".

He said that the YouTube music service, which is currently in beta, and revelaed by The Drum this March, will hit harder "than ever before" on the copyright front.

But this is not the only issue disrupting the music streaming sector, according to Harvey, who referenced Taylor Swift's recent battle with Spotify as a clear example of that.

Although Harvey acknowledged that the American singer has shone a light on artists' rights, he noted that "there's a bit of hypocracy in what she's saying because she's still on free services".

Meanwhile SapientNitro's Dawson described the music industry as the most disrupted sector in history, and one which will continue to grapple with the need for new business models, which centre on streaming rather than traditional sales models.

He described the multiple waves of disruption the industry has faced - from online piracy, to the move to downloads, and now to streaming, and the huge amount of revenue that has dropped out of the industry through loss in physical CD sales.

While people buying CDs is down 14 per cent, streaming is up 32 per cent, with about 182 billion streams, according to Dawson.

For him, this has led to an interesting shift in mentality. "Artists have to get people to share, rather than it being a one to one model.

"Ultimately, if anything, digial has reinforced that it is all about hits. It was all about going viral in the days of Elvis. The hits are still the hits."

Despite streaming seeing such a boost, live music has also seen an increase.

Harvey suggested that this rise in the interest in live music, if that is where the money in music is now at, could lead to streaming services such as Spotify teaming up with physical ticket companies like Ticketmaster.

He added that musicians could take the route of having weekly or monthly drops of content, instead of spending years working on an album.

"We're moving to monetisation for access, for the promotion of the artist," said Dawson, having pointed out how brands such as Red Bull are now jumping on this, allowing promotion of upcoming music.

You can catch up on the live Twitter feed form the event here.

Disruption Day is sponsored by Experion Marketing Services.

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