Is YouTube Really the Enemy? Not According to Rihanna and Paul McCartney

  • Save

YouTube is expanding its original content line-up by featuring world-renowned content from musicians like Paul McCartney and Rihanna.

Talk to music industry trade groups like the IFPI or RIAA, and YouTube is the devil in digital clothing.  But maybe artists — especially superstar artists — don’t feel the same way.

The latest evidence of this comes from Rihanna, who is showcasing her latest fashion lineup via a YouTube livestream.  The ‘Savage x Fenty’ fashion show just kicked off today (Wednesday), with Rihanna promising an “immersive experience” that will help showcase the fashion label’s intimate accessories and lingerie.

Of course, more than just fashionistas will be checking this one out.  And that’s the whole point: everyone is invited.

The show starts 7:30 pm EST and fans can purchase any of the items showcased after the show.

Of course, YouTube is also hosting endless Rihanna videos.  And it’s not clear how many of those are properly recognized and licensed.  At this stage, however, we can safely assume that Rihanna’s per-play revenues from YouTube are comparatively abysmal when stacked against higher-player platforms like Apple Music.

Then again: who cares if YouTube is paying a fat advance, while promoting a livestream under a giant viewing tent?  Rihanna will undoubtedly gain serious exposure for her fashion line, with potentially serious sales.

Others are making similar calculations — regardless of per-stream payout problems.

Last week. on September 7th, Paul McCartney held an “intimate” concert where he played Beatles and Wings songs. You can check out that nearly two-hour presentation below.

Judging by these two splashy events, YouTube is positioning to become go-to place for artists to promote their upcoming albums and fashion lines.

And size does matter, especially when everyone has one-touch access to YouTube.

But the Google-owned company is facing fierce competition in the music streaming space.  Both Apple and Spotify have hosted exclusive concerts with famous musicians, with Apple embarking on expensive documentaries and pre-release Beats 1 radio shows (the latest of which involves Nicki Minaj).

Despite Apple’s cancellation of the Apple Music Festival in 2017, Apple has been hosting smaller and more intimate live concerts for artists promoting albums.  These concerts often debut with a documentary about the artist discussing the inspiration and dedication behind the release.

Christine and the Queens is the latest singer to get this intimate portrayal of her dedication to her work. Other artists who have had an Apple Music-exclusive documentary dedicated to their work include P!nk, Puff Daddy, Kesha, and Flume.

Spotify is tackling the market by hosting exclusive concerts based on its community-curated playlists, like the upcoming Chance the Rapper headlined RapCaviar concert.

Now, the question is how expansive YouTube will be with its slate of exclusive events and live streams.  But if Paul McCartney and Rihanna are any indication, this is a fairly huge initiative.

5 Responses

  1. Versus

    Still the enemy.
    People become collaborators with the enemy during wartime.
    It’s unfortunate that ‘artists’ of this stature would not instead use their influence to either help bring down or reform GoogTube.

  2. Remi Swierczek

    Most of the MEGA STARS are withdrawn from reality, WELL FED PIGS adding credibility to BIG TECH operated (80% Google) music industry hunger games!

    $300B global music business is obvious to BORAT. We did $17.3B in 2017 and labels, RIAA and IFPI are breathless from multiple streaming ORGASMS.
    (Note: inflation adjusted 1999 CDs are $60B today!)

    Get your own Donald Trump and make music great again PUSSY CATS!

  3. Anonymous

    So does that mean we all just need to become fashion designers as well?

    YouTube does have promotional value. The problem is that if people are able to consume all the content you’re trying to promote for free on the service, then what good is that promotional value? YouTube needs to be a tool to entice people to pay for things. You can’t do that if everything is already being given away for free as UGC.

    I’m optimistic that the passing of Article 13 in the EU will be the start of some much needed change in the industry.

    • Anonymous

      The rapptour did not even know what the article did and even said when asked.
      But bribes work right?