Garth Brooks Calls YouTube ‘The Devil’

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…from a recent interview on Access Hollywood Live:

Billy Bush: So we were talking earlier about the changing face of music right now.  Taylor Swift has done something interesting, she’s having a standoff with Spotify the streaming service, and won’t let them stream her music because she says they aren’t paying the artists enough.  Do you have an opinion on that?

Garth Brooks: Yeah —

Bush: — and Aldean just followed.

Brooks: Yeah, I think a lot of people are going to start following.  When music starts standing up for itself, it’s going to get a lot better.  And there’s, ya know, some big friends of ours in music we need to stand up to too.  I mean, if iTunes tells you how they’re going to sell your stuff and it’s only gonna go this way… don’t for get who’s creating this music and who should be doing this stuff.

And I’m telling you, the devil.  Nice people but, YouTube. Oh my gosh.

Kit Hoover (2nd host): — what do you mean?

Brooks: Well YouTube, they claim they pay people, they’re not paying anything either.  And then, people get millions and millions and millions of views and they don’t get squat, trust me.

Songwriters are hurting, and so I applaud Ms. Taylor, I applaud everybody for standing up for the songwriters, because without them music is nothing.

Bush: You’re right, the first thing [Taylor Swift] said when she gave her position is this is for the songwriters, who should be getting paid here.  Have you contacted YouTube, did you tell them to pull down your stuff, did you stay after these people?

Brooks: Yeah, you can do it, but you can’t get out of it.  I had a sweet meeting with them, they were all fired up, they were the sweetest and they’re all like 12 —

Hosts: [laughing]

Brooks: — they’re so young.  And I said, “I’ve just got the first question, ‘how do you get out?'”

Hoover: You don’t.

Brooks: Silence. You don’t.  You don’t get out.  Thanks to our wonderful – somebody judging on this one – on the government, but, it’s totally backward right now.

But if the artist will just keep hammering away, unify, stick together, then music will be the king again which is what it should be.  Music should always be first.


28 Responses


    So much for “Consent” or Permission… you can’t get out, and you can’t negotiate…

    Brooks: — they’re so young. And I said, “I’ve just got the first question, ‘how do you get out?’”

    Hoover: You don’t.

    • Name2

      Just visited Ghost Tunes for the 1st time. Perused the FAQ. Listed a few albums.

      I found nothing about formats or bitrates. Even pono does that, to its own 44.1/16bit embarrassment.

      Customer contempt much?

  2. jj

    Justin, please for your sake and ours… see a shrink! Your 12-page manifestos are getting tiring to look at…

  3. uh yeah

    What would Garth Brooks know; he’s only a talented, successful artist with experience and wisdom in this industry?

    We artists make the music; we should be making the lion’s share and owning much of the infrastructure.

    • Anonymous

      Gimme a break. Music is simply entertainment and a distraction from reality, and often creates a path towards cultural idiocy. The world would be a better place without people like Taylor Swift and Justin Bieber selling prepackaged garbage to the masses.

  4. George Johnson

    Garth is right, YouTube, Spotify, Pandora and the rest of them don’t pay a dime for millions of streams but the executives are walking away with millions of dollars a month. Go Garth!

    • Remi Swierczek

      I agree, this trio delivers in form of “ownership” at least $40B a year in music and paid in 2013 less than $2B.

      If we convert Spotify, Pandora and all Radio and streaming to music store we will have $100B music industry before 2020. There is no room for YouTube music furnace in this arrangement unless it will become $50 hub of new music industry functioning as a coder and wholesaler to Radio and streaming, also as a central bank paying fair share to involved parties.

    • Johnny Gagnon

      George Johnson , you hit the nail right on ……
      Our sold out capitalist government no longer supports individuals in business – only big corporations……
      this is also a reflection of how people are today being classified and categorized by their government’s conversion to corporate international/global mob rule ……. all individual’s human rights are being flushed down and out into sewer pipes underground,unseen and well below all big corporation structures….. the puppet traitors in big government still maintain it’s called capitalism but the hard cold truth of it all is simply called dictatorship!

  5. Get it right

    Garth has good points and so glad artist sare standing up. I’m so tired of spotify saying they pay 70% to artists. Please that’s not the issue, it’s the fact that labels need to wake up and realize that the rate is way off.
    You can bs all u want and light all the candles u want, but this is the real issue. If spotify has to pay 105% to own some market share to the streaming space then so be it. Don’t ask artists to take a loss to build your business spotify. Please!

    • Johnny Gagnon

      The whole truth and nothing but , is global corporations and the international governments which they sponsor and practically own ….. all perform the same song and dance routines to Ripp Off individuals and investors so they may lead very comfortable fraudulent lives …. they all make promises that never amount up to anything , and which remove wealth from these large groups …. once you are completely aware of this , known modus operandi affliction and psychological disease , which all criminals and criminally insane , people carry …… you will no longer feel you have been unjustly treated …vampires are amongst us and control the entire level of the game! It’s time for all musicians to unite,as top artists are saying to do, stand up and reject everything they wish for us to bite into because it is nothing but poison to us and a true honest society that is being deleted of human rights and justice,,,,, it’s possible to bring down at least their involment in the music industry for a start…. one only needs one website

  6. Anonymous

    Latest: YouTube is a piracy site again!

    According to Hollywood Reporter and Billboard, Irving Azoff sent takedown notices to YouTube for 20,000 stolen songs — but YouTube failed to take them down!

    Yes, YouTube can afford to pay the 20,000 x $150,000, but it’s still an incredibly bad start for the new project.

    And YouTube seems to steal from Taylor Swift, too. Here’s what a spokesperson for Ms. Swift told BBC after Billy Bragg — a Spotify employee — criticized her from removing her catalogue from Spotify:

    “Taylor Swift has had absolutely no discussion or agreement of any kind with Google’s new music streaming service”

    So everything’s back at normal — Google is still at war with artists and songwriters…

    • David

      I presume you’ve got some reason for calling Billy Bragg a Spotify employee, so do you mind sharing it with us?

      • Anonymous

        The latest curator on Spotify is Billy Bragg, who announced plans this morning for a series of ‘talking playlist’ radio shows distributed through the streaming music service.

        The first goes live tomorrow: a collection of 14 tracks and Bragg’s spoken-word explanations of what they are and why he picked them, with new shows to follow at monthly intervals.”

        SOURCE: Musically, February 10, 2014

        • David

          Thanks, I didn’t know that. I have noticed that Billy Bragg has several times defended Spotify in the media, but I didn’t know he was on their payroll. He has some chutzpah to accuse Taylor Swift of hypocrisy when he doesn’t mention his own financial interest.

  7. Willis

    If YouTube is “The Devil” then what is the actual devil? Maybe he should try Ponos?

  8. JTVDigital

    Vinyl is the devil, radio is the devil, cassette is the devil, CD is the devil, mp3 is the devil, iTunes is the devil, Spotify is the devil, YouTube is the devil…evolution is the devil.
    Please, just stop.

      • JTVDigital

        I’m voluntarily oversimplifying, since this is the only type of message people seem to get these days…
        All labels have licensed their content with YouTube / monetize via ContentID.
        YouTube has agreements with all (or most) collecting societies, who get paid and distribute the songwriter/publisher royalties to their members afterwards.

        • BZ

          But critically, YouTube does NOT have an agreement with Azoff’s GMR, which is a new PRO that represents the public performance rights of the 20,000+ songs referenced. Without an agreement, YouTube is publicly performing songs without a license, which is copyright infringement. What’s so hard to understand here?

  9. Joseph Salinas

    I think Garth Brooks has a point, Spotify and many other music/video services pay musician very little, however, these companies are not the only culprits. RCAA hold very stringent copyrights that have created these monopoly that constrict monies belonging to these artist. Spotify is subjected to these right holder’s copyrights
    which require then to pay large portions of there revenue(70%) to these right holders. @