Susan Boyle has one of the most popular videos in YouTube history, logging roughly 100 million views in a little over a week. But neither YouTube nor Sony Music, which owns* Britain’s Got Talent‘s production company, Fremantle Media, has gotten any money from those streams
“That video is not being monetized,” a Google spokeswoman tells Wired.
A YouTube spokesman confirmed to us that the video isn’t running a single ad against all of the Susan Boyle clips people have uploaded. User-uploaded videos don’t have ads placed with them, and even YouTube’s content partners can choose whether or not they want to run ads against their videos, the spokesman added. So far, no one who’s uploaded a clip of Susan Boyle singing has allowed YouTube to run an ad against the clip.
Wired figures, “if Google sold a decent amount of video overlays on the video (earning an estimated $20 per thousand views), [Simon] Cowell[, who co-produces Britain’s Got Talent,] and company would be owed millions more in revenue sharing.”
As for Sony MusicFremantle Media, we don’t know why they haven’t chosen to run ads against videos of Susan Boyle, particularly since Britain’s Got Talent is a content partner with YouTube. But we wouldn’t be surprised if some of it has to do with international issues. The show Boyle sang on, after all, is a British program, so it would make sense that Fremantle Media’s UK productions are controlled by the British arm of Sony Music, and currently people in the UK can’t access YouTube’s music videos, because of a revenue dispute with the rights organisation PRS for Music. Still, if Sony has the same revenue-sharing deal with YouTube as other labels, meaning it gets half a cent for each video played, the label should have gotten $500,000 so far.
Sony Music isn’tNo one’s selling downloads of the song on Susan Boyle’s YouTube videos either, probably because a downloadable recording hasn’t yet been made. But that’s another missed revenue stream, hypebot notes: “If just one half of one per cent of those that watched the video hit buy, that’s 500,000 downloads.”
*Note: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that Fremantle Media was owned by Sony Music. The company is actually owned by RTL Group.
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