If Tunecore solved the ‘iTunes problem’ for smaller artists, then who gets to solve the ‘YouTube problem’?
Meaning, who’s got that simple-stupid solution for directly managing and monetizing your YouTube collection, no matter how small? And most importantly, who jumps in front as the default, go-to provider of this service?
It’s an important question, because YouTube may be more important to an artist’s career than Spotify, Pandora, Rhapsody, and every other streaming service combined. And make no mistake, there are plenty of companies and lots of technology that make this happen. Yet somehow, YouTube seems to get disproportionately less attention from DIY companies, and nowhere near the level of distribution competitiveness surrounding iTunes.
There’s a company we came across at NARM this week that may have the right idea, though it currently seems geared towards broader rights owners. It’s called AdRev (adrev.net), which is actually owned by a broader content licensing network called AudioMicro. And the proposition is incredibly simple.
(1) They find every one of your videos on YouTube.
(2) They wrap those videos with ads.
(3) They get paid on those ads by Google.
(4) They take a percentage and pay the rights owner.
That’s the pitch, any questions? AdRev CEO Ryan Born said that payouts are confidential, but pointed to a high-flier easily making “well over six figures, I’ll tell you that much.”
AdRev theoretically solves a number of issues for artists, publishers and labels. AdRev is a company that you deal with directly for your YouTube monetization, just like Tunecore is a direct solution for iTunes. In fact, they’re a direct admin for ContentID. Which seems like it could solve a problem for artists, especially unsigned artists: just last week, BFM Digital CEO Steven Corn outlined the often opaque and complicated provider deals for monetizing YouTube (he picked on CD Baby, which uses Rumblefish in a sort of ‘white label’ way.)
The only problem is this: AdRev isn’t ready for primetime, at least for one-off, smaller clients. Yes, the company has that clean, direct proposition, but they lack that easy, hop-on, Tunecore-style simplicity (and may never go in that direction).
Which either means AdRev is getting those details together, or someone else will. Because simple-stupid simplicity can be a breeding ground for success, especially when applied to overloaded, over-pitched, and overwhelmed artists.