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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 growing slower on YouTube than other content genres: YouTube ad revenue was        billion in 2019, of which music was        at        billion, down from        in 2017
  • Nonetheless, music remains the single largest ad revenue driver on YouTube, with games second at        billion
  • Games over index for video ad monetisation with longer videos and more ads, while music sits below the overall average with        of views but        of revenue
  • Among the        most subscribed YouTube channels, music has the most cumulative subscribers        billion) and most lifetime views        billion)
  • Successful non-Anglo music channels deliver a much higher volume and velocity of content, helping them drive subscriber engagement and improve monetisation
  • There are more one billion-plus-views music videos than ever        and they are getting there faster, from an average of        days for 2007 releases to        days for 2020
  • Ed Sheeran tops the one billion-plus views list with the greatest number of views at        billion generated by one billion-plus-views videos
  •        of all one billion-plus-views videos are collaborations
  • Pop is the largest single genre of music videos in the one billion-plus views club, with        of the total; Latin is second        but is losing share, while 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 media advertising revenues were        billion in 2019, with music-related user-generated content at        billion of which        billion was music-related ad revenue
  • After Spotify, Google is the second largest source of music streaming royalties for rights holders, generating royalties of        billion across ads and subscriptions – but ad average revenue per user lags behind Spotify, at        compared to       
  • YouTube dominates the global music streaming market, with        music weekly active user penetration far ahead of Spotify in second place at        YouTube’s music monthly active user base is        billion, compared to        billion for Spotify
  • The long-term solution to rights holder income disparity will come from a blend of strategies that work in addition to new licensing terms, such as monetising fandom, new music video formats and subscriptions 

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

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