Plenty of artists have rightfully railed against streaming platforms as they’ve seen their own profits wither along with the decline in physical and digital sales of their work. But even in that climate, the amount that YouTube paid out to the music industry this year is impressive.
In a blog post by YouTube Chief Business Officer Robert Kyncl, the video-streaming giant says it paid over a billion dollars from ad revenue alone in the last 12 months. And they expect that number to continue to grow as streaming does. Via the post:
“And this is just the beginning. As more advertising dollars shift from TV, radio and print to online services, the music industry will generate even more revenue from ads. In the future, the music business has an opportunity to look a lot like television, where subscriptions and advertising contribute roughly equal amounts of revenue, bolstered by digital and physical sales. To achieve this, there is a lot of work that must be done by YouTube and the industry as a whole, but we are excited to see the momentum.”
The relationship between YouTube and the music industry can be tense, to say the least. So, the news that they paid $1 billion to the industry is already meeting with some criticism. An anonymous industry executive questioned the validity of the number while talking to Billboard. He said that the company has problems with monetizing the consumption of music.
The announcement is part of a clear plan by the streaming company to rid itself of the reputation it earned as a sort of copyright Wild West in its early years. Unfortunately, even that has been handled somewhat poorly.