Monday, July 14, 2014

Pros and Cons of YouTube

Recent technology has really transformed the music industry. I'm sure a lot of artists are still trying to figure out how best to use social media and new technologies for their advantage. One of the new giants that has come along is YouTube. had a recent editorial on stealing and posting material on YouTube. I have to say it was a little convicting for me. I've been guilty of posting clips of concerts on YouTube and putting ads on them (that's no longer the case). I completely agree with the point of videos of DVDs and events that have been paid for to stream online is wrong.

But with YouTube also comes new possibilities. (I'm not trying to say that the editorial was anti-YouTube. That was not his point, don't misunderstand me.) I was talking to a lady a few weeks ago at a Southern Gospel event. She got to know and learn a lot about artists from YouTube videos. She became a fan watching videos online. With YouTube, artists now have the chance to reach new audiences world wide. Many artists have their own channels that they post to whether that's them singing or behind the scenes glimpses. You don't have to wait until your favorite artist is in your area. You can watch clips of them any time. Now, does it deter people from actually going to the concert? For me, it doesn't. There is a a completely different dynamic and feel to a live concert than watching one via a computer screen. Most people don't stop going to church just because some churches are having live broadcasts.

A lot of times I do take videos during concerts, but the majority of videos never make it to YouTube. It might be because the quality is not good, too shaky, the person next to me is singing along (that happens more than you would think) or if I've heard the artist doesn't want videos posted I won't. But for one reason or another, a lot of them just stay on my computer for my viewing later on. I never mean to take away from the artists by posting the videos I do. I've even had some artists use my YouTube videos for promotion.

There are also moments live in concert that can happen spontaneously that fans would love to see. For example, the recent video of Greater Vision and Mark Trammell Quartet singing the Cathedrals' song "Prodigal Son" allowed fans a glimpse of a great moment that otherwise they would have only read and heard about. Also, for newer fans like myself it's a great way for me to get acquainted and become more familiar with the greats I will never see in person.

YouTube is great for artists to gain exposure. We actually had a relatively new Christian group (not Southern Gospel) at our church recently actually encourage the audience to video and post. I think there is a bit of an added pressure on artists with almost everyone having a video recording capabilities in their pockets now. They never know what will end up online for thousands to see.

YouTube is a giant in social media with pros and cons for the music industry and artists. What do you think? More pros than cons? Or is it doing more harm than good? Would be interested to get an artist's perspective on this.


  1. I see the author's point, but I will say that occasionally the other end can be unreasonable, and it's not the artist's fault. I won't name names, but I was in very friendly contact with a certain artist who wanted to know about my live-stream video capturing technology and even liked the idea of my putting some recent online concert clips on my channel and sending him links so he could use them. It was the church who ended up hounding me rather aggressively to take it all down. I simply hadn't looked in the right place and missed the copyright notice on their channel--it was an innocent mistake.

    As for Youtube in general, I agree that people who put full concerts on their channel are ripping off the artist, but I also think that in this small of a business, people who put song clips online are probably bringing in more revenue than taking it away. SG desperately needs exposure. Young people like me don't have massive record collections or a background in this music. We go to Youtube to find out more about what we're interested in. This was where I first found clips of the GVB, the Cathedrals, EHSS and more who've become favorites. Then I began going to their concerts and buying their stuff! If all the users who uploaded the clips I found had been ordered to take it down, I might never have really discovered southern gospel.

    Also, there is a great deal of OOP material that people deserve to hear. Sometimes those of us who've gone to the trouble of obtaining one of the few remaining copies would like to share it with the rest of the world. That's why I don't feel too guilty about putting old stuff on my channel---heck, my copy might be better than what the artist himself has been able to scrounge up! In fact I know that's the case for at least one Christian artist I like.

  2. Any artist who is anti Youtube will probably irrelevant once their old fans die off. The reason I got involved with SG at all is Youtube. I started listening to things online and getting exposed to more and more artists. Basically, I was a David Phelps fan, looked him up on Youtube and got pulled into the world of SG.

    SG artists, you should beg your audiences to take as much video as possible and upload it.

    I understand you shouldn't go buy the latest DVD and upload to Youtube, but get over trying to control everything. Our society needs new, exciting, fresh, and SG does a poor job of embracing that.

  3. No one should be anti-Youtube. And I've never heard of anyone that is.

    I would always ask the artist's permission before posting concert clips. Most of them do not mind at all, in my experience.

    Posting clips from commercial items is flat-out stealing. It is sin.

  4. I sing in a regional SG quartet. The material we sing is not original, and from that standpoint, I'm a little nervous recording it in the first place. However, if we video our own concert, and there is a piece of it that is decent, I'll post it myself. I see it as promoting the gospel and our ministry. I also agree that to post a copyrighted DVD is not the most ethical thing to do. Asking the artist is always the smart thing and honor their requests, and by all means, support them financially the best way possible ~ above and beyond your own tithes and offerings to your local church!

  5. There have been many times when I will hear a group on the radio or just hear of them somewhere else, and Youtube has been a great place to learn more about them. There are artists that I have watched several times on Youtube. However, I still would absolutely love seeing them in concert live. Youtube definitely doesn't replace that.

  6. I see no different then when a DJ plays a song on the radio to promote the artist or song. More importantly is Jesus reached with a new audience that maybe few can reach through mere awards program. If the videos were never publish how would it reach new people simply through just airing on christian networks? Simply put youtube is a rather new media outlet to promote Southern Gospel and the artists, promoters, songwriters, record companies should embrace instead of throwing accusations of stealing. If I record a program on my dvr, I own the program but if I sell it to someone else that is when it is stealing. To just promote something as youtube is like a radio station in that you listen to what you want to watch and listen to. I don't see any secular artists getting upset about it when it promotes their material. More importantly are we reaching the world with the gospel or do you let songs and video sit on a shelf and collect dust or use to promote the gospel?

  7. The videos of the artist from professional dvd are not stolen. The Bowling Family, The Crabb Family, Nelons, Hoppers Karen Peck and New River, etc Daywind have given permission to upload their videos from the professional made dvd as promotion for their material as well as for church not familiar with the artists. These videos with permission and requested by the artists is obtained by them. Please don't make accusations that you know nothing about. AKA thenelonsfan youtube

  8. I think we all agree that videos posted with permission is good promotion for the artist and is not stealing from them. I'm sure that a lot of people have found artists through your channel and enjoy the videos you post. I know I do.

    There are some people though who have uploaded the full hour plus long DVD to YouTube and may not have received the same permissions. I admit I haven't always been good myself about getting permissions from the artists, but you're right we can't judge because many times we don't know what agreements have been made between artists and those who post the videos. This was meant to be a general discussion and commentary post about the pros and cons of YouTube and not meant to be accusatory toward any YouTube user.


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