So when it comes to YouTube, if you’re not one of the major musicians, apparently you’d better keep your day job …
Zoë Keating, a cellist who self-publishes her own music, offered the masses full transparency when she published a Google Drive document which revealed the figures from all her revenue outlets. All of her streaming — YouTube, Pandora, Spotify, etc. accounted for less than 10% of her income. This past year, Keating made a healthy $75,341 from sales — and a paltry $6,380 from streaming.
Of those streaming numbers, she only made $1,248 from 1.9 million views off of YouTube. Ouch.
Keating wrote of the money situation: “The income of a non-mainstream artist like me is a patchwork quilt and streaming is currently one tiny square in that quilt. Streaming is not yet a replacement for digital sales, and to conflate the two is a mistake.”
“I do not see streaming as a threat to my income, just like I’ve never regarded file-sharing as a threat but as a convenient way to hear music. If people really like my music, I still believe they’ll support it somewhere, somehow. Casual listeners won’t, but they never did anyway.”
The real meat of her take-home money was accrued from sales on iTunes, which generated $38,195 from 32,170 singles tracks and 3,862 albums. Other sales came via her website, direct-to-fan site Bandcamp and Amazon.
Here’s more musician knowledge from YouTube: