I did a search the other day on YouTube to find a friends remix of the Yolanda Be Cool V D-Cup tune ‘Me No Speak Americano’. I was confronted with some numbers that were remarkable enough to share. (by the way, check out the Nick Thayer remix of the track on Beatport)
Between 5 uploads of the track, there has been over 45 million views.
This video edit has had 10.5m views – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h3S4dBk4E1g
This fan upload has had 20.3m views – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wavpWRK6IX8&feature=related
This one – another fan upload – 8.4m views – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LkjljBNTLs4&feature=related
This one, from the acts label Sweat It Out, 3.5m views – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7E9Ed9DUQoQ&feature=related
This one from a blogger has had 4.9m views – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3jrXw97egoM&feature=related
Video clips on YouTube are flying. Lady Gaga’s ‘Telephone’ clip with Beyonce had over 150m views when combining the 5 main uploads (Gaga’s official Vevo channel received over 75m views alone)
The result for Yolanda Be Cool vs D-Cup is incredible, especially when you consider the result compared to Pendulum (arguably Australia’s largest dance music export) and their single ‘Watercolour’ (just under 3.6m views)
The key challenge for all involved – artist/label/Google – is making money from all this. It’s great for Yolanda Be Cool in terms of awareness – which should translate to more live/DJ gigs and better fees … but is there money being made from all these streams?
And more importantly – are these streams coming at the expense of actual sales?
45m views of a video creates a lot of inventory. The challenge is to sell it and convince advertisers that advertising amongst streaming music is a compelling area. Labels also need to be convinced that having their music accessible everywhere is a smart commercial move – especially if it has the potential to further erode the more lucrative single and album sales.
If that can be done (I’m not saying it can, but you can bet your house Google is trying to create a compelling argument) then music on YouTube could become interesting.
Until then it’s not that much different to just giving your music away. For an act this may be okay – they can make money elsewhere (licensing, performance, endorsements) but for labels … not so much.