A Google executive revealed that over the past several years Google has paid out over $1 billion to the music industry.
The executive, Tom Pickett, who is YouTube’s vice president for their content, revealed this during a Midem panel. “We’ve paid out to the music industry over the last several years over a billion dollars. So there is money being generated in this ad-supported model,” he said.
Despite this rather large number, there are still those who are skeptical of YouTube being involved in music at all. “I am concerned with YouTube entering the market because for YouTube everything is about dominance, and dominance is connected to destruction,” said Horst Weidenmueller from !K7, an indie music firm. “I would rather prefer perhaps Google not being in music.”
BPI Geoff Taylor drew attention to this while on-stage with YouTube’s Pickett, comparing YouTube unflatteringly to streaming music services like Spotify and Deezer, which mix advertising-funded free streaming with premium subscription tiers.
“When I looked at the billions of streams there were in music videos, and the pounds and pence coming in to the industry from that, it was a very small number,” added Geoff Taylor, who is the chief executive of The British Recorded Music Industry (BPI).