by Bobby Owsinski
Believe it or not, there is some real money being made from YouTube views, although it may not be coming from where you think.
A s a general rule of thumb, record labels make around 40% of any ad revenue generated from a song, and this can increase by another 20% if it can prove ownership of the video (the “official” version). This amounts to around $5,000 per million views. Now how much of that is getting passed on to the artist is another story, but some labels actually split it 50/50 while others are……..not so generous.
But there’s a way for a songwriter/artist to cash in without worrying about the label getting in the middle. If a person covers your song in a video or uses it as the underscore for a video, that still requires a publishing sync license. The artist can claim the ad revenue from any video that uses their song. Doing that isn’t always that easy, though, as you either have to search manually for the cover or use a company like INGrooves, which uses audio fingerprinting to crawl YouTube to find those than are using your material.
That’s where everything changes though. Where once a time an artist would send a take-down notice, now they just ask for any ad revenue generated. If the person who posted the video doesn’t want to take the video down, he’ll leave the ads in (or put them in if they weren’t there before). Of course, many record labels continue to issue take-downs, still not hip to the new revenue stream that could be.
Oh, and if you happen to right a song about a car crash, an insurance company that uses your video may generate 5 to 7 times more than the norm, so keep branding in mind (someone else’s, that is) when you’re writing those songs. It can mean a chunk of change in your pocket.
You can read more about INGrooves and YouTube monetization on this in a great article in the Guardian.