YouTube paid $6 billion to music industry in past 12 months

YouTube paid $6 billion to music industry in past 12 months

YouTube has issued another update on the scale of its revenue paid to the music industry.

According to a blog post from global head of music Lyor Cohen, YouTube paid $6 billion to the music industry in the 12 months from July 2021 to June 2022. That’s an increase of $2bn on the reported revenue payout of $4bn in the prior 12 months.

Cohen reaffirmed YouTube’s ambition to be the top contributor of revenue to the music business by 2025. Spotify recently announced that it paid out $7bn to the music industry in 2021.

YouTube’s Cohen credits the “twin engine” of subscription and advertising revenue, which he previously outlined in his Music Week interview.  

Lyor Cohen said: "I could not be more proud about YouTube's progress in driving revenue back to the music industry. We remain laser-focused on becoming the number one contributor of revenue for the industry while also building a connected music experience across all music formats for fans and artists that allows for discovery, consumption and participation."

While there have long been concerns about the so-callled ‘value gap’ in terms of revenue from user-generated content featuring music, the scale of UGC meant that it drove over 30% of YouTube payouts for artists, songwriters and rights-holders for the second year in a row.

YouTube Shorts generates 30 billion views per day, with 1.5 billion monthly logged-in users.

Michael Nash, executive vice president of digital strategy, Universal Music Group, said: “YouTube continues to be a powerhouse of music discovery, offering a full-featured journey across content formats for our artists’ fans. UMG is proud of the partnership we’ve built together that has led to an exponential increase in payouts to recording artists, songwriters, labels and the entire music ecosystem.”

Mike O’Neill, president & CEO, BMI, said: “We applaud YouTube’s amplified focus on music, which has increased royalties for the creators of that music. BMI and YouTube have long collaborated in numerous ways to help BMI creators utilise YouTube’s platform to promote their craft and maximise their exposure. YouTube contributed to BMI’s record-breaking revenue and royalty distributions this past year, and we’re excited to continue to strengthen our partnership to benefit our music creators and copyright owners.”

Oana Ruxandra, EVP of business development & chief digital officer for Warner Music Group, said: “WMG remains committed to championing the value of music. We look forward to YouTube’s continued support in helping us to drive these efforts and are excited for what the future holds.”

Annabella Coldrick, chief executive, Music Managers Forum, said: “This significant uplift in payments from YouTube through to the wider music industry is very positive news for artists and songwriters in a time of economic uncertainty and rising touring costs. MMF hugely values the constructive relationship we have with YouTube music and the consistent investment they have made in developing the skills and talent of the UK management community. This support has directly contributed to the success of new artists whose music is hitting new heights in the UK and globally.”


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