YouTube and Google Play have paid out $3bn to record industry… says Google

Google claims that across YouTube and Google Play Music, it has now paid out more than $3bn to the recorded music industry to date.

Because this is a blended rate across two services, it’s very difficult to determine absolutes for what it means for Google’s generosity (or otherwise) when it comes to royalty rate payouts to the music business.

What’s particularly significant about the figure is that it matches the $3bn lifetime music biz payout figure announced by Spotify earlier this year.

The $3bn payout figures came in a YouTube blog post celebrating the US-only launch of the YouTube Music app last week.

Interestingly, the YouTube blog makes the questionable claim that YouTube’s virality helps boost – or at least doesn’t cannabalise – download sales of songs and LPs.

“[YouTube] has also provided an incredible source of promotion for artists, helping fuel ticket sales, move merchandise, and boost album and song downloads,” it reads.

“YouTube has provided an incredible source of promotion for artists… boosting album and song downloads.”

YouTube blog

“Just this month, Adele’s “Hello” became the fastest rising video of the year on YouTube, while also breaking the record for first week download sales.”

YouTube boasts over a billion users each month, while Google Play Music is yet to divulge the size of its audience.

MBW conducted some analysis of another figure which sneaked out last month, when YouTube appeared to state that it had paid more than $2bn to music biz rightsholders over the course of its lifetime.

Don’t jump to conclude that means Google Play Music has paid $1bn, though: evidently, ‘over $2bn’ could mean YouTube has paid out any number between $2bn and $3bn.

A subscription service which allows users to create personalised stations based on taste, YouTube Music offers a 14-day free trial – watch the video below to learn more.

Its arrival comes hot on the heels of YouTube Red, which is essential a video and music bundle: all Red subscribers get an ad-free experience and are able to watch YouTube videos offline, but they are also given a subscription to Spotify rival Google Play Music.

 Music Business Worldwide

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