As you all are aware, sometimes you are sent a link to a video that may be of interest but instead you get a music video of Rick Astley singing Never Gonna Give You Up. This meme is called Rickrolling. As a matter of fact, the Never Gonna Give You Up video has been watched over 150 million times on YouTube. This is great for Rick Astley because it gives him more publicity and possibly more sales of his music, but what did YouTube itself pay the songwriter of Never Gonna Give You Up? About $16.
“There was I sitting at Christmas thinking, ‘I must have made a few bob this year with the old Rickrolling’,” stated Pete Waterman, the 62 year old British producer and songwriter of Never Gonna Give You Up. “I rang my publisher and they said ‘You’ll be all right’, until I saw the royalty statement. £11. If 154 million plays means £11, I get more from Radio Stoke playing Never Gonna Give You Up than I do from YouTube.”
Waterman’s fortune itself is worth about £47 million ($68 million). Waterman compared the royalties paid as foreign workers in Dubai. He made less on YouTube and Google than these foreign workers did from the Bahrain government.