At Reprtoir, dealing with record labels and music publishers is not the only focus we have. We’re also very careful about trends and upcoming practices in the music industry. Lately, music video royalties have been under the spotlight. No surprise here: during lockdown, curfews and all pandemic-related periods of time, video and user-generated content have taken an important place in our field. When Youtube’s main category was and remains Music, what does it say about video copyright?
What Are Video Royalties?
In the music industry, video royalties are the monies paid from video platforms like Youtube and Vimeo for views on music videos. In a general sense, all video platforms make money from advertising or charging subscription services in place of that advertising. Video creators thus make money in partnership with the platform when ads roll before, during, and after their videos. The more views, the higher return.
Let’s take the king of videos, Youtube, as an example. The basis of Youtube is that with every view of a music video, ads will be shown to the audience. The advertisers behind these ads pay Youtube (a company owned by Alphabet, previously called Google) for these spaces like billboards on a highway, and Youtube splits a portion of the payment to the video creator and owner. This does not, however, mean that anyone can collect royalties from their music videos. The channel posting the video must have upwards of 1,000 subscribers with thousands of hours of watch time over a year. After this is achieved, the music copyright owner can claim monetization as Youtube sees the creator as worthwhile for advertising revenue.
However, there exists an issue with how video websites operate. Fans are quite amazing in their loyalty, and sometimes they could create lyric music videos or upload videos of live concert shots. These videos shouldn’t be panicked over because Youtube and many other video sites allow the music owners to claim the video royalties. If the video can be monetized between the fan channel and the video, the copyright holder can claim monetization and collect all the video royalties from the use of their music. It’s important to point out that this is claiming the monetization, yet still allows the channel to operate and doesn’t take down the video. It’s a win-win for both fans and artists.
How Much Royalties Can Video Bring?
Video royalties can be complicated, and in the case of Youtube, they can feel like exploring a maze in the dark. Let’s start with a strong figure: From June 2020 to June 2021, Youtube paid out $4 billion to the music industry. That might be a startling number for many people to consider, and we can also foresee that figure rising as Youtube is pushing for more subscriptions through Youtube Premium and Youtube Music.
However, as huge as the figure is, how much does a single content creator make from their music video in royalties? Let’s run through some figures.
There is no “set” pay or amount of royalties that are earned per view. There are dozens of variables at play, from the length of the video, type of content or music genre, and even the time of the year as the holiday season brings in more advertisers and after sees a great decrease.
If we aggregate all the figures and try to spitball how much an artist would earn, we could say artists earn around $5-6 per 1000 “impressions”. The impression would mean valid viewers with no ad-blocker who watched the video for a good length of time. These impressions make up around 30-45% of the total view count, so 100,000 views would mean around 36,000 impressions, which then translates to around $220 in music royalties.
However, this doesn’t exactly translate into the real world or scale as people consider. A video with a million views can make upwards of $10,000, or half that in some cases. It all depends on when these views were calculated, the advertisers, and how everything worked together.
The other side of this is stated in the same Youtube blog post: 30% of that $4 billion royalty payout was paid from “user-generated content” which is non-copyright holders, or fans, making videos that the copyright holders claimed for monetization. If you factor in the various views collected from this user-generated content, it can all add up into a large royalty amount in the end.
How to Manage Royalties Videos
Handling video royalties can be complicated. Luckily, Reprtoir’s software suite offers some tools developed with our users, to help you manage and collect video royalties. Our Catalog Management solution is designed to help manage video assets in a secured environment. Additionally, our Royalty accounting solution can tackle video royalties to keep your bookkeeping simple and royalties easy to manage. Let’s talk about it!