YouTube announce that more than $1 billion in revenue was paid out to the music industry in 2017 – but is it enough?

YouTube have just announced that, in 2017, more than $1 billion dollars in ad revenue has been paid out to the music industry.


YouTube executive has claimed that, in 2017, over $1 billion was paid out to the music industry in advertising revenue alone.

According to the company’s Chief Business Offer, Robert Kyncl, the stats demonstrate “multiple experiences and models…succeeding alongside each other.”

He’s also optimistic about the future for the music industry earning substantial figures through services like YouTube. “In the future, the music business has an opportunity to look a lot like television,” Kyncl says, “where subscriptions and advertising contribute roughly equal amounts of revenue, bolstered by digital and physical sales.”

These views reflect comments made by YouTube’s Chief Product Officer, Neal Mohan, earlier this year, saying, “the industry’s future is actually brighter than ever” with more digital-advertising revenues on the horizon. “It’s easy to dismiss ad-supported models today while digital streaming is still small and relatively new,” he said. “The truth is, it is a new source of revenue that is poised to dramatically increase.”

However, the music industry’s response has not been overly positive.

“Google has issued more unexplained numbers on what it claims YouTube pays the music industry,” said a spokesperson for the global music body, the IFPI.

“The announcement gives little reason to celebrate, however. With 800 million music users worldwide, YouTube is generating revenues of just over $1 per user for the entire year. This pales in comparison to the revenue generated by other services, ranging from Apple to Deezer to Spotify. For example, in 2015 Spotify alone paid record labels some $2bn, equivalent to an estimated $18 per user.”

In his announcement, Kyncl conceded that the current model was not perfect, saying: “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.”

Read our in-depth feature on the reality of streaming services and artist royalties.

Also, check out our list of the best Youtube to Mp3 converters if you’re that way inclined.