Google faces music rights holders after releasing how much it pays them

Rights holders still argue they're not getting enough from YouTube videos

Google faces music rights holders after releasing how much it pays them

YouTube Music app | Photo: PA Images

It was a case of two giant industries putting the blame on each other, but now YouTube have confessed over how much money they've paid to music copyright holders.

YouTube and copyright holders are currently in the middle of renegotiating rights and contracts, so it seemed like a good time for Google to release the numbers on how much they've paid out.

In a report on how they fight piracy, Google said they've paid over $2 billion for copyrighted music, up from $1 billion in 2014.

The figure comes from YouTube's Content ID system which analyses uploaded videos for copyrighted material. The rights holders can tell Content ID to then automatically monetize or block the video.

This system is what has Google and copyright holders at odds.

Google says most rights holders automatically monetize the videos found with copyrighted material, while the rights holders say they're not making enough money from each video, as well as arguing that the system isn't efficient enough.

Universal Music has said that Content ID missed up to 40% of videos that feature copyrighted material.

Google was ready for a war of words, saying that half of the music industry's money from YouTube comes from fan videos and covers. The company also said that it has spent $60 million on building and improving Content ID.

The ball appears to be in the music industry's court now. Google has presented figures and financials, so how will record companies reply to that.