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YouTube halved the amount it pays musicians per stream between 2014 and 2015

Although music views on YouTube rose dramatically, artists were receiving less revenue in 2015 than they were in 2014 per stream.


The video streaming site essentially halved the value of a single stream from $0.002 in 2014 to $0.001 in 2015 according to Midia Research, via the Financial Times.

A total of $740m was paid to artists in 2015, a net increase of 15 per cent – but when taking into account the fact that streams on YouTube and Sony and Universal Music were up by 132 per cent to 751bn, the fee leaves much to be desired.

The report claims that if the rate had remained steady at $0.002 in 2015, artists would have accumulated double the $740m they received.

YouTube and Vevo provide music rights holders 55 per cent of music video revenues and provide no minimum value per steam – with its model reliant upon the profitability of its ad model.

Robert Kyncl, chief business officer of YouTube, said: “Thanks to advertising, YouTube has transformed the promotional cost of the music video into a new source of revenue that has generated $3bn for the music industry and that revenue is growing rapidly.

"Now, with YouTube’s new subscription service, YouTube Red, YouTube offers the music industry two sources of revenue. These two sources will give the industry the opportunity to earn revenue from 100 per cent of people who enjoy music.”

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