'Gangnam Style' makes $8m on YouTube


The success of Psy's K-Pop hit 'Gangnam Style' continues to confound everything we thought we knew about the music industry. We thought a South Korean pop song would never be a global hit; we thought no-one could be an international music mega-star through the power of YouTube alone; and we thought no-one would ever be a bigger online music sensation than Justin Bieber.

Now, after clocking up more than a billion views online, Psy has thrown another universally acknowledged truth out of the window: he's made a fortune from YouTube views.


The song now has the proud distinction of being the most-watched YouTube video ever - with 1.23 billion views and counting.

In a call with analysts, Business Insider reported Google chief business officer Nikesh Arora, as saying that its singer, Psy, has generated $8 million revenue on YouTube alone.

This comes largely from adverts linked to his video - but also to those of parodies and related videos picked up by YouTube. The report added that the maker of the video is entitled to half the income, leaving Psy and his record company with $4 million from YouTube.

So who else has been making money from YouTube?

The amount of cash an artist makes from YouTube will depend on the number of views and likes - as well as the arrangement they have with whoever produced or posted the video - and the person who holds the copyright.

At the end of 2012 the website released its list of the most watched videos, and the top five were:

1. Gangnam Style.
2. Somebody That I Used to Know. This was Walk off the Earth's cover of the Goyte track with all five band members playing the same guitar.
3 KONY 2012. The half-hour campaign video to draw attention to the exploits of war criminal Joseph Kony, which has so far failed to lead to his capture.
4 Call Me Maybe by Carly Rae Jepsen.
5. Barack Obama vs Mitt Romney (an epic rap battle).

Despite the hype, Felix Baumgartners space jump only made it to number 10 - after Facebook Parenting for the troubled teen, Dubstep Violin by Lindsey Stirling, and a TNT advert.

It goes to show that Psy wasn't the only confounding hit on YouTube last year. The question is who is going to come up with the big money-spinner this year...

More stories

Read Full Story