The streaming debate has been quite a topical one in recent history, especially last year when Taylor swift pulled her discography off of Spotify and denied the release of her newest album, 1989. The reason she pulled all of her stuff off the streaming services was because it devalued her art, and that subscription services like Rhapsody and Beats Music are the streaming services that increase the value of music. Despite this, her material still remains on YouTube, which has some of the lowest payout of all the streaming services. At least, according to one artist.
P.J. Wassermann is a producer and artist from Switzerland, who recently wrote on his blog, detailing his experiences with his music on YouTube. In it, he describes how he had randomly stumbled upon one of his songs from the 90s, and when he tried to monetize the song, it was taken down. This led to him eventually uploading his stuff to YouTube in 2014 when YouTube became open to Swiss copyrights. He discovered that one of his most popular uploads, of 151,781 views, had made him a whopping $10!
He explains in the article:
“By the end of January 2014 I was a YouTube partner and started uploading all my content and my so far 28 videos. But above all I was able to monetize the many third party uploads of my music. Or so I thought because it soon became clear that all my views added to next to nothing in my income reports.”
“151,781 views with 681,104 minutes playtime in eleven months generated an income of 10.02 US Dollars! One million views would generate about $65, one single view boils down to $0.000065.”
“How is a musician supposed to make a living with this kind of payout?”
“Additionally YouTube’s payout logic is difficult to understand. Why do 20,926 views of “9. Best of Chillout…” pay $2.96 but 17,594 views of “funny cows singing mix” pay only $0.28? I don’t know. The same song under the name of “La chanson de la vache Techno remix” pays $2.20 for 24,908 views. 7,498 views “MUH! by Matterhorn Project (original 80ies video)”, same song again, pay nothing at all. This is weird. “High Energetic Core” with 3,651 views delivers even only $0.01. Ridiculous. At least it’s OK that “PJ Wassermann – I Am One” doesn’t pay because I wanted to keep it free from advertising.”
You can check out the full article here
$0.000065 per view. Fractions of a cent may seem fair for YouTube views, but that’s an unimaginably small number. With this figure, it means that Gangam style, the most viewed video on YouTube, has made $150,000 gross in total. That might not sound too bad, but not only is that reduced by the label’s cut, if those were singles, Psy would have made $2 Trillion in gross sales.
Obviously, if Taylor Swift really is against streaming services in terms of the value it puts on her music, then she needs to pull all of her stuff from YouTube, because that shit will simply not fly.