Susan Wojcicki: YouTube Paid $3 Billion To The Music Industry Last Year

By Amit Chowdhry ● February 17, 2020
  • YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki recently published a blog post about the company turning 15 and revealed it paid out $3 billion to music artists last year

YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki recently published a blog post about the video website turning 15 years old. And one of the biggest milestones mentioned in the blog post details how YouTube paid the music industry more than $3 billion last year alone. 

“YouTube offers twin engines for revenue with advertising and subscribers, paying out more than $3 billion to the music industry last year from ads and subscriptions. We’re also partnering with artists to support and amplify their work through every phase of their career. Dua Lipa was in YouTube’s first-ever Foundry program — our initiative to develop independent music acts. Justin Bieber and Billie Eilish have built massive global audiences by directly connecting and engaging with fans on YouTube. At just 18 years old, Billie is now one of the world’s biggest stars with five recent Grammy wins,” wrote Wojcicki. “And from its early days, YouTube has been a home for artists who found creative ways to use the platform to help expand their reach. In 2005, OK Go had one of the first viral hits with their music video, ‘A Million Ways.’ Fans posted their own versions of the boy band-inspired choreography, and OK Go decided to make it official with a dance challenge on YouTube. We continue to see unknown artists make it big with a single viral hit. Last year, Lil Nas X’s “Old Town Road” became a YouTube phenomenon and the longest-leading single atop the Billboard Hot 100.”

This appears to be the first time that YouTube disclosed how much money is going back to the music industry. And in Alphabet’s latest quarterly earnings report, the company disclosed YouTube’s revenue for the first time: $15.15 in annual billion and $4.72 billion for the quarter. This figure does not include YouTube’s revenue from subscriptions and YouTube TV. And Alphabet did not disclose YouTube’s profit.

YouTube now has over 2 billion monthly users around the world and 500 hours of video uploaded every minute. 

“Compared to last year, the number of creators earning five figures annually has increased more than 40 percent. And more than 170,000 YouTube channels around the world have over 100,000 subscribers ⁠— that’s hundreds of thousands of small businesses growing through the platform. YouTube is unique as a platform since we share the majority of revenue with our creators. Going forward, our goal is to continue to grow revenue and audiences of YouTube creators. We appreciate everything creators do to inspire, educate, and entertain their audiences,” added Wojcicki.

YouTube has also been very proactive in removing content that violates policies as quickly as possible. For example, YouTube removed over 8.7 million videos in Q3 of last year alone. And YouTube has been reducing recommendations of content that brushes up against its policies. And the company reduced watchtime of borderline content from non-subscribed recommendations in the U.S. by more than 70%.