YouTube logo

YouTube’s chief business officer Robert Kyncl has been addressing the TV industry this week at the Royal Television Society Cambridge Convention. However, he had some figures that will be of intense interest within the music industry too.

“Now, media companies present about 25 percent of YouTube watch time globally, another 25 percent is music, and 50 percent is YouTube creators,” said Kyncl, according to The Hollywood Reporter’s writeup of his speech.

We can add this to the other official stats around YouTube and music: more than two billion monthly music users in November 2020; $4bn of payouts to the music industry in the 12 months leading up to June 2021; and more than 50 million paying subscribers for YouTube Music and YouTube Premium in September 2021 – although that last figure includes trials.

There is also some fun to be had cross referencing YouTube’s financial results (as disclosed by parent company Alphabet) with the new watch-time statistic. In the four quarters to the end of June 2021, YouTube generated $24.93bn of advertising revenues. If music is 25% of the platform’s watch time, should music payouts have been closer to $6.2bn than $4bn?

Before the industry picks up its flaming pitchforks (© Billy Bragg, 2014) there are major caveats here. Music may be a quarter of YouTube’s watch time, but that doesn’t mean it’s a quarter of its served ads. Meanwhile, the $4bn figure includes royalties from premium subscriptions, but the financials don’t yet break those out.

Still, it’s very useful to know music’s share of watch time on YouTube, and how it compares to other forms of media, as well as native YouTube creators. Figuring out how to convert that watch time into revenues as efficiently as possible, through ads, subscriptions and through YouTube’s expanding tips economy, remains the key task for the company and its partnerships with music companies and artists.

EarPods and phone

Tools: platforms to help you reach new audiences

Tools :: Wyng

Through Music Ally’s internal marketing campaign tracking, we’ve recently discovered an interesting website by the…

Read all Tools >>

Music Ally's Head of Insight

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *