Reports Music

State of the YouTube Music Economy 3.0 - End of the Beginning

Report by Mark Mulligan
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The 20,000 Foot View: This is the third bi-annual report of its kind, providing the most comprehensive view available of the YouTube music economy. It presents data for revenues, royalty payments, streams, subscribers, user behaviour and user demographics. We explore success factors, cultural trends, monetisation frameworks and contextualise music’s performance against other content genres. Our unique set of consumption and monetisation metrics provides the definitive view of YouTube’s role in the global music economy and music’s role in the YouTube economy.

Key Insights

  • Music is            slower on YouTube than other            genres: YouTube ad revenue was            in 2019, of which music                       at            billion, down from            in           
  • Nonetheless, music            the single largest ad revenue            on YouTube, with games second                       billion
  • Games over            for video ad monetisation with            videos and more ads, while            sits below the overall average                       of views but            of revenue
  • Among the            subscribed YouTube channels, music has            most cumulative subscribers            billion) and            lifetime views            billion)
  • Successful non-Anglo            channels deliver a much higher            and velocity of content, helping            drive subscriber engagement and improve           
  • There are            one billion-plus-views music videos than                       and they are getting there            from an average of            days            2007 releases to            days for           
  • Ed Sheeran            the one billion-plus views list            the greatest number of views                       billion generated by one billion-plus-views           
  •            of all one billion-plus-views videos are collaborations
  • Pop is            largest single genre of music            in the one billion-plus views            with            of the total; Latin            second            but is losing share,            hip hop is growing
  •            of the views of the            biggest music videos were from unofficial videos, with reworks such as cover versions and parodies the largest source of unofficial views
  • Global social            advertising revenues were            billion in            with music-related user-generated content at            of which            billion was music-related            revenue
  • After Spotify,            is the second largest source            music streaming royalties for rights            generating royalties of            billion across            and subscriptions – but ad            revenue per user lags behind            at            compared to           
  • YouTube dominates            global music streaming market, with            weekly active user penetration far            of Spotify in second place                       YouTube’s music monthly active user            is            billion, compared to            billion            Spotify
  • The long-term            to rights holder income disparity            come from a blend of            that work in addition to            licensing terms, such as monetising            new music video formats and           

Companies and brands mentioned in this report: Alphabet, ByteDance, Disney Music, Douyin, Google, Instagram, Soundcloud, Spinning Records, Spotify, Super Chat, TikTok, Vevo, Warner Music Group, YouTube