UPDATED: Amid ongoing label driven furor over the size of payments to musicians and the music industry, YouTube has shared a big number - $1 billion. That's the amount that it has paid the music industry in the last 12 months.
YouTube shared on Tuesday that it has paid the music industry $1 billion in the last 12 months.
"Even as music subscriptions have been growing faster than any other subscription type, advertising is another powerful driver of revenue," wrote Robert Kyncl, YouTube's Chief Business Officer. "In fact, in the last 12 months, YouTube has paid out over $1 billion to the music industry from advertising alone, demonstrating that multiple experiences and models are succeeding alongside each other." This $1 billion comes only from ad revenue, and does not include revenue from the estimated 1.2 - 1.5 million Google Play Music and YouTube Red subscribers.
YouTube has 1 billion active monthly users, and almost all its viewing is ad supported. By comparison, Spotify has 100 - 120 million users, of which about 40 million pay for Premium service. Sources say that Spotify is on track to pay the music industry $1.6 billion in 2016.
To be fair, while music is a major force on YouTube, its 1 billion monthly visitors are also watching non-music videos and streams of comedy, gaming, sports, news, dance and... cats.
And Kyncl believes that YouTube ad revenue is poised to grow. "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."