It looks like “Gangnam Style” song will soon reach 1-billion-views mark on YouTube, growing the Asian pop star’s popularity click by click.
One song brought the 34-year-old millions of YouTube ads and iTunes downloads, demonstrating what incredible sums of money are being made in the music business. An even bigger dollop of cash will come from TV commercials.
According to The Star, from these sources only, the Korean pop singer and his camp will rake in at least $7.9 million this year. But for online music sales in his native country, he’ll earn less than $60,000.
“Gangnam Style” with its incredible imitated horse-riding dance is the most-watched video on YouTube ever.
The famous video has been viewed more than 880 million times on YouTube only since its release in July, beating the previous record of Justin Bieber’s “Baby,” which racked up more than 808 million views since February 2010.
PSY’s official channel on YouTube, which uploads the singer’s songs and videos of his concerts, has nearly 1.3 billion views.
A video ad buying platform TubeMogul counted that the Korean pop star and his agent YG Entertainment have raked in about $870,000 as their share of the revenue from YouTube and ads.
The Google Inc. which the video service belongs to keeps approximately half.PSY and YG Entertainment also earn money from views of videos that parody his songs.
The search giant detects videos that use copyrighted content. Artists have the opportunity to remove video or allow it to stay online and share ad revenue with YouTube.
In late September the Korean hit had around 300 million views, more than 33,000 videos were identified by the content identification system as using “Gangnam Style.”
But since YouTube is at disposal of any user in any country in the world, wouldn’t Asia be responsible for a significant chunk of the $870,000? Thailand and South Korea are the countries with the second and third-highest views of the video.
“Ads rates vary depending on which country the video is played. Developed countries have higher ad rates and developing countries lower,” said Brian Suh, head of YouTube Partnership in Seoul.
The song has been downloaded 2.7 million times in the United States and has been a top seller for most weeks since its debut.
“Gangnam Style” sells for $1.29 on Apple’s iTunes Store, and the iPhone and iPad maker generally keeps about 30 per cent of all sales, so the PSY camp could be due more than $2.4 million.
However, there are still talks whether PSY will manage to replicate the blockbuster success of “Gangnam Style” or end up remembered as a one-hit performer.
“When this slows down, what comes next for PSY?” said Nielsen analytics vice-president David Bakula. “Is it the evolution of a new musical style, something audiences are going to be craving en masse, or is it something that’s just a passing fancy?”
Analysts predict that the hit song alone won’t become a ticket to the status of musicians such as Adele and may not even be enough to make him the top-grossing K-pop star.
Everything will become clear in March when a new album of the horse-riding dancer will be released.