The Things I’d Gladly Pay for On YouTube…

YouTube: it’s a chaotic jungle of musical content, yet it’s easily the biggest streaming music platform in the world (if not the biggest music platform, period).  Not only does YouTube cover most of the globe, its viewing (and listening) volumes are several times larger than that of Pandora and Spotify, combined.

But why is YouTube such a mess?  Part of the reason is that YouTube is a volume-driven, user-generated, ad-supported model built for everyone.  But maybe music fans would pay a small fee to see these enhancements…

(1) Vastly improved catalog organization.

Type in an artist on iTunes, and you get a succint listing of songs and albums.  Why can’t you get that on YouTube?  If you’re lucky, a search on YouTube lands on a well-organized artist channel or a good user-generated playlist.  Most of the time, that doesn’t happen.

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(2) Separation of studio, live, user-uploaded, remix, and interview materials.

If I want to zone out to some studio or album cuts, let me.  If I want to check out a live gig, point me there.  If I want an interview, let me go to that section.  Even on organized artist pages, I’m searching around endlessly for stuff I want, and missing great videos in the process.

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(3) Ability to cache content.

If I’m on a plane or out of range, YouTube becomes worthless.  That’s not the case with competing streaming, cloud, or download options.

(4) Curated recommendations and playlists.

It’s completely hit or miss!  Songza neatly curates playlists based on genres and moods, why can’t YouTube do the same?  On YouTube, I’m at the mercy of someone else’s playlist that typically contains artists I may like, at best.  Sure, everyone wants to be their own deejay… sometimes.

(5) Updates on new materials (especially from the artists themselves).

Artists are constantly uploading new stuff, and so are their fans.  For a few of those artists, I want to receive an alert.

(6) Of course, no ads.

And this doesn’t even get into the overlays, pre-rolls, etc.

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(7) Better artist and rightsholder compensation.

Are you helping your favorite artist, even with a few pennies in the jar?  Or, are you screwing them because they aren’t even aware that they need to create and monetize a dedicated channel (for example, the Dead Kennedys)?

I want my money to go to something good, not a bottomless account.  It’d be nice to know which artist channels are certified, and which remain unclaimed.  Or, even give me a channel to alert my favorite artists to come claim some cash.

9 Responses

  1. Visitor

    Certified artist channels is a very, very good idea! You should suggest it in one of their forums.

    But losing the ads (and cashing the content, for that matter) is impossible if you want to compensate artists…

  2. P

    You have many ideas and say many things that I disagree with. This, however, is not one of them. I totally agree and would also pay for these luxuries. Can I add one?

    Filtering out videos that has content pulled or isn’t the advertised song (Prince comes to mind here.. with all the videos playing music that isn’t prince, yet advertised as such).

  3. Jeff

    No. 6 and No. 7 don’t work together. I too would like the rightsholders to get paid a LOT, but I don’t want to listen to adds or pay to use YouTube.

  4. NaveedMBS

    Separate official, live, remix, and user-uploaded videos! Great ideas

  5. d'allesch

    Next question.

    How much? you could some pretty interesting regressions on $.99, $1.99, $3.99 etc

  6. mr t.

    you nailed the most interesting question!

    paul: how much would you pay for this a month?

    • paul

      @mr. t.

      Oddly, I haven’t really thought through the specific price points on this. But I don’t really represent the reality of consumer willingness to pay, so let me try to answer for the consumer population at large.

      My knee-jerk response would be, ‘at least as much as Spotify,’ but with the massive volumes that YouTube is playing with, perhaps they could net quite substantial revenues with a lowball, $2.99 or lower price point.

      Funny, knowing YouTube and their model, they’d probably prefer to give away all this for free.