YouTube Has Allegedly Paid $6 Billion to the Music Industry

In a self-serving report, Google touts its own ability to stop anti-piracy and YouTube’s apparent inflated payments to the music industry.  But, why can’t anyone independently verify the information?

Google has published a new report revealing how it tackles the problem of piracy on its own search engine and on YouTube.

In ‘How Google Fights Piracy’ for 2018, the search giant claims its video platform has paid rightsholders over $3 billion through Content ID.  In addition, the company has invested over $100 million in building Content ID.  This includes staffing and computing resources.

From October 2017 to September 2018, YouTube paid out over $1.8 billion in ad revenue to the music industry.  According to Google, the popular video platform has allegedly paid the industry over $6 billion in total ad revenue.

Continuing praising its anti-piracy platform, the search giant has over 9,000 partners using Content ID to manage and monetize their works.  Partners include major network broadcasters, movie studios, movie studios, music publishers, and record labels.  They’ve provided more than 80 million active reference files for the anti-piracy platform.

Google has also evaluated 882 million URLs containing copyrighted works.  Of that amount, the search giant removed 95% of infringing links.  Protecting original works, Google pushed back on around 54 million removal requests deemed incomplete, mistaken, and abusive.  The search giant also took down more than 10 million ads suspected of copyright infringement.

Touting its Content ID platform once more, YouTube handled 98% of copyright issues through the anti-piracy platform.  Over 90% of these claims, continues the search giant, result in monetization, generating ‘significant revenue’ for partners.

Promoting its platform as beneficial to the music industry, Google wrote,

Through the recently launched YouTube Music…YouTube is the premier destination for fans to discover, share, and listen to legitimate sources of the music they love.

Taylor Swift’s ‘Shake It Off,’ for example, generated over 2.5 billion views, “ten times more listens than on leading streaming services.”  Over 100 videos exist on the video platform that have surpassed the 1 billion views mark.  Yet, Google remained suspiciously quiet on exact payouts, instead highlighting the generic ‘$6 billion’ ad revenue number.  According to our ongoing streaming payouts chart, Swift would’ve earned around $1.9 million on the video platform for 2.5 billion streams.   On Spotify and Apple Music, she would’ve earned $9.9 million and $19.6 million, respectively.

According to the IFPI, YouTube remains the largest barrier to paid streaming in the US.  In its Music Consumer Insight Report published earlier this year, the organization noted,

35% say a main reason for not using a paid audio subscription is that anything they want to listen to is on YouTube.

Paradoxically, this also hurts Google’s brand-new streaming platform, YouTube Music.  In addition, the search giant didn’t reveal its own study’s methodology.  This means people can’t independently verify the figures Google has published in its own self-serving report.

That hasn’t stopped the search giant from praising its own inflated findings.

Concluding the study, Google writes,

Today, Google’s services are generating more revenue for creators and rightsholders, connecting more people with the content they love, and doing more to fight back against online piracy than ever before.  YouTube and Google Play have helped millions of creators worldwide to reach global audiences and generate revenue.

You can view the full report here.



5 Responses

  1. John.

    Fuck Google/Youtube. Thank you DMN. You’re practically my Bible.

  2. Versus

    Ok, so how much should they have actually paid?

    (To calculate that, we would need trustworthy play statistics, of course).

  3. Blobbo

    Google is a fraudulent enterprise operated with zero oversight. If it were up to me, I’d nationalize Youtube and set up a far better pay rate, and probably a subscription requirement, possibly a (small) tax paid via internet bill. There is no reason one corporation should profit eternally off of what is essentially a huge change in the fabric of copyright (which they respect practically not at all). The rest of the world should set up their own networks per each nation, or areas, and stop letting Youtube make all the money. It’s just obvious.

  4. so

    As David Lowery is asking, how much would Spotify or Apple Music have paid for the same amount of streams for the exact same content?

  5. LOP

    “But, why can’t anyone independently verify the information?”

    Because it’s a blatant LIE.