YouTube Streaming Revenue Pales in Comparison To Sales Revenue For Musician Zoë Keating

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:

Peter Hollens: 4 Things I Learned About Online Music Distribution as an Independent Artist

We Don’t Steal Art We Just Remix It

In Your 20s and Feeling Angsty? AJ Rafael Shares Your Concerns in ‘Quarterlife Crisis Musical’ [Video]

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