Last week, the members of Sixx: A.M. made the decision to stand up against unfair artist compensation, calling out YouTube above all others for their practices. The band claimed the platform fails to pay artists the same rate as other providers like Spotify and Apple, pitting Google's own motto of "don't be evil" against them. Now that representatives from YouTube have responded, Sixx: A.M. are still unsatisfied with their explanation.

The Google-owned company penned a lengthy statement detailing how they compensate artists in a blog post from YouTube Creator Blog. Explaining how claims are handled, the post stated, "Only 0.5 percent of all music claims are issued manually; we handle the remaining 99.5 percent with 99.7 percent accuracy. Today, the revenue from fan-uploaded content accounts for 50 percent of their revenue."

The blog post also says comparing YouTube to subscription services like Spotify is "like comparing what a cab driver earns from fares to what they earn showing ads in their taxi." Furthering the example, it states, "Like radio, YouTube generates the vast majority of our revenue from advertising. Unlike radio, however, we pay the majority of the ad revenue that music earns to the industry. Radio, which accounts for 25 percent of all music consumption in the US alone and generates $35 billion of ad revenue a year, pays nothing to labels and artists in countries like the U.S. In countries like the UK and France where radio does pay royalties, we pay a rate at least twice as high."

Sixx: A.M. responded to this post on their Facebook page, stating,

Thank you YouTube for your recent response to Sixx:A.M.’s statement about artists payments.

Unfortunately your response does not directly address the issues and is merely a public deflection. Comparing modern music consumption to old school radio is like comparing apples to oranges.

Are you or are you not willing to pay artists fairly and when will you stop hiding behind safe harbor? (You never answered this the first time).

Don't Be Evil, Do The Right Thing also suggests not spinning misinformation.

Thank you.

Nikki Sixx
James Michael

Since the advent of streaming, musicians have been fighting for what they perceive to be fair compensation from these platforms which generate revenue both from advertisements and subscription fees. This year, big name artists like Steven Tyler, Lionel Richie and more, in addition to Sixx: A.M., have fought for a revision of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, particularly the notice-and-takedown aspect which allows platforms like YouTube to host artist content uploaded by independent users without consent from the label or artist.

Sixx: A.M. recently released the first installment of their double album, Prayers for the Damned, Vol. 1. The group is currently out on the road in support of the record and will wrap up their current headlining run on June 24. For a full list of tour stops, click here.

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