YouTube streaming dominates in Malta as Copyright Directive vote looms

PRS for Music says online platforms like YouTube must take responsibility for copyright of user-created works uploaded to the site

85% of people in Malta had used YouTube to listen to music in the last three months, and over a quarter (28%) used YouTube to access music only
85% of people in Malta had used YouTube to listen to music in the last three months, and over a quarter (28%) used YouTube to access music only

Research carried out by the performing rights’ society PRS For Music, has shown that 85% of people in Malta had used YouTube to listen to music in the last three months, and over a quarter (28%) used YouTube to access music only.

By contrast, just 32% of people had used Google Play, while 28% had used Spotify. Only 14% of those surveyed had not used any digital music platform at all in the last three months, demonstrating the dominance of streaming in the Maltese music market.

PRS is supporting changes to the EU’s Copyright Directive, which will clarify that platforms such as YouTube are liable for the use of copyright-protected works which users upload to their site, and must obtain a licence for these works.

“Some online platforms, those hosting works uploaded by their users, use legal ambiguity to minimise or evade their responsibility and avoid paying royalties, or pay very little to creators,” PRS spokesperson Coral Williamson said.

 “The proposed changes to copyright law, currently under review by the EU Parliament, seek to redress this imbalance in the online market by clarifying that platforms such as YouTube are liable for the use of copyright protected works on their site and must obtain a license for the works they make available.”

MEPs will vote on the Copyright Directive on 12 September.

“PRS for Music is part of the #europeforcreators and #lovemusic campaigns to support the vote, and is calling for music lovers to sign a petition asking European Members of Parliament to secure music’s future online.”

John Mottram, Head of Policy and Public Affairs, PRS for Music, said: “The research shows the importance of YouTube to users and to the music industry in Malta. Services like YouTube and Facebook have built massively successfully global business by giving users access to music and other content and it is essential that those who create and perform the music we all love can share in that success.”       

According to PRS’s research, a YouTube user spends 71% of their listening time compared with just 38% for a Spotify user on Spotify. By taking into account how long people spend listening to music, the platforms they use and how much time they spend on them, 58% of music listening time is on YouTube in Malta.

And although more people have a Google Play account, they spend more time listening to Spotify.

YouTube this year extended their Partnership Programme – which enables YouTubers to monetise their content through the placement of advertising – to Malta following a 5,000-strong petition.

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