At the end of a year of arguments about the ‘value gap’, YouTube recently published its latest defence, saying it paid out more than $1bn to the music industry from ad revenues in the last year.
Google’s video service is trying to make a wider case around its support for music though, which is where the latest Wall Street Journal piece on it makes for such interesting reading.
It focuses on South Korean artist Lee ‘CL’ Chaerin, whose YouTube channel has more than 380,000 subscribers and 24.3m views so far.
“YouTube invested in an array of marketing efforts to support the release of her first single and her tour, which went on sale the same day,” reports the Journal. “YouTube bought advertising in music publications, helped land her song on FM radio and paid for a documentary and photo spread in the Fader magazine. It also produced several videos.”
YouTube funding content is far from unknown in recent years, from its investment in a swathe of original channels to more recent projects created with top YouTubers for its YouTube Red subscription service.
YouTube has also put marketing behind emerging stars with a series of above-the-line advertising campaigns for the likes of Zoella and Michelle Phan. This is one of the first times we’ve seen such an effort swing behind a musician, but it seems it won’t be the last.
“YouTube this year has been meeting with major record companies and artist-management firms, asking which acts they want help developing and then offering financial support for custom-tailored marketing campaigns,” reported the Journal.
And if you’re wondering why YouTube chose an unknown-in-the-west singer from South Korea to start with: CL is signed to SB Projects, the management firm of Scooter Braun, who was approached by YouTube to suggest artists for the promotional campaign.