Remember way back in the early 2000s when Metallica had that beef with Napster? It turns out their hate for digital music hasn’t faded, even though Lars Ulrich said streaming was the future last year- at least that’s the case for their co-manager Peter Mensch. In an interview with BBC Radio 4, he was quoted as saying:
“Youtube, they’re the devil.”
Mensch says Metallica doesn’t get paid at all for their videos. That’s obviously an exaggeration, but if you read Mensch and co-manager Cliff Bernstein’s Billboard interview, it’s apparent that they’re concerned about how all streaming services compensate artists. In response to this, YouTube CEO Robert Kynci said that many artists feel differently because they have income from their record labels. He also added that a lot of artists working with YouTube are making good money from it- especially those that are generating a lot of viewership, and that the unhappiest artists are the ones not being viewed.
So in turn, we have a few questions about all this. Say Mensch isn’t exaggerating, and Metallica really makes nothing. What does that mean about how Metallica’s music is consumed? Via the 5,000 people that buy the Black Album every week only? Also, when Mensch said this, he didn’t clarify if he meant income from a registered YouTube channel or from random, unauthorized people posting tracks on the site. Both these could mean very different things for the band, considering YouTube claims they’ve paid over $3 billion to artists to date.