YouTube says it paid the music industry $ 4 billion in the past 12 months

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Not so fast, Spotify.

Months after Swedish audio streaming company CEO Daniel Ek announced that Spotify had paid the music industry $ 5 billion in 2020, YouTube global music director Lyor Cohen said said today that the platform had put more than $ 4 billion in the pockets of artists, songwriters and rights holders in the past 12 months.

In a June 2 letter shared with the music industry, Cohen said the money going into YouTube’s payment came from the two YouTube ad channels and YouTube Music and YouTube Premium subscriptions. The company generated $ 19.78 billion in advertising in 2020, so its payment to the music industry represents about 20% of its advertising revenue.

The swagger of the two companies can be lost for the myriad of artists and songwriters who share pennies per stream of their songs.

Stating that YouTube’s goal is “to become the primary revenue generator for the music industry and to help artists around the world build careers in making music,” Cohen noted that the company owned at Alphabet added more paid “members” in the first quarter of 2021 than it ever had. quarter since launch.

YouTube paid the music industry $ 3 billion in 2019, according to the company.

Among its top revenue generators, user-generated content on YouTube has accounted for more than 30% of the $ 4 billion it has paid to the music industry in the past 12 months, Cohen said in the report. letter.

“Fan-powered videos have always thrived on YouTube, helping artists expand their audiences and break songs across the world,” he wrote. “We are delighted that this will also become a significant and incremental revenue stream alongside premium music content. “

Cohen pointed out that YouTube continues to tap into new revenue streams, including innovations in products aimed directly at fans, including merch, ticketing, memberships and paid virtual events.

Quoting BLACKPINK’s paid livestream The show As an example, he noted that the January 31 YouTube exclusive event sold nearly 280,000 channel subscriptions in 81 countries and helped the group gain 2.7 million new subscribers to its channel. official artist.

Martin Mills, founder and chairman of the Beggars Group, endorses the new report. “YouTube’s growth for Beggars business over the past two years has overtaken everyone as well as the market itself, and is now on track to deliver the potential of its huge audience to the music industry. , as these revenue figures show, “he says.

Paul Pacifico, CEO of the Association of Independent Music, comments: “These numbers really underscore the importance of YouTube’s partnership with music. We know that independent music exceeds its weight on YouTube because consumption is driven by fans. As the independent music community around the world enjoys increasing value, we welcome the increasingly sophisticated tools that are made available to further improve the relationship between artists and fans and we look forward to to continue to work closely to help our members maximize their potential.

Other partners involved include Michael Nash, Executive Vice President, Digital Strategy, Universal Music Group. “YouTube and UMG remain strong partners with a history of launching innovative new features together,” he said. “We look forward to continuing to build on this work to advance the interests of artists and songwriters. “

Emmanuel de Buretel, Founder of Because Music, said: “Since Because Music signed with YouTube, we have experienced steady growth in both revenue and audience. Recently, independent artist Major Lazer reached 3 billion streams on the ‘Lean On’ video. , an incredible example of the global audience that can be reached when good independent music is combined with a strong partnership between YouTube and three independent partners: Because, Teamwork and Mtheory. “


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