YouTube is reporting it has paid out $1-billion in payments to over 5,000 partners who’ve monetized work through its Content ID system since its inception seven years ago. Music publishers, TV networks and movie studios are among the partners benefiting.
Content ID is available in every country where YouTube can be accessed, allowing those content owners to effectively manage (monetize or remove) their own works from a back-page, which provides royalty statements and demographic information. Music publishers have been able to license through Harry Fox for a 7.5 percent stake or manage the system on their own. Particularly, Nashville-based Words and Music has a direct licensing agreement with YouTube.
“YouTube has become a significant source of revenue for our publishers,” said Jennifer Falco, Director of Licensing at Words and Music. “We have seen an increase in earnings every year since entering our direct agreement in 2012.”
YouTube pays on current monthly ad sales, which fluctuate. Music publishers have seen payments from 15-50 percent (based on the type of music usage) on the net ad revenue. The company does not report gross revenue.
Although Content ID was created in 2007 in response to Viacom bringing suit against Google for infringement, the Financial Times reports the lawsuit was settled in March of this year in the amount of $1-billion, although no cash reportedly changed hands. The late 2011 acquisition of RightsFlow has made it increasingly possible for YouTube to account and distribute payments to content creators using its site.
Matthew Garrahan, who first reported the story said of the benchmark, “A sign that media groups increasingly see the video site as a friend rather than foe.”
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