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Published on September 30th, 2012 | by Hugh Hession


YouTube giving artists a slice of the pie, but does it amount to much?

Put your video up on YouTube and get a piece of ad revenue? Not a bad deal, most musicians, songwriters and publishers would say, but what kind of money are we talking about and from what do we get paid?

Dead Kennedy’s guitarist Raymond Pepperell (East Bay Ray) mentions that their song Holiday in Cambodia has streamed 2.5 million times but the band has only seen a few hundred dollars.

Pepperell says that YouTube makes 45% of advertising revenue on their videos, but they won’t tell the band how much it is. “I don’t know – and no one I know knows – how YouTube calculates the money.”

Ok Go – a relatively unknown band – went from obscurity to 200 millions views on YouTube and are more than happy with their newly founded success. However, ask manager Jamie Kitman about how much they make in ad revenue. “If that was your only source of revenue, you know, it would be time not only to not quit your day job but time to get a night job to supplement it.”

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About the Author

owns and operates Emerging Artists Entertainment Marketing & Consulting, LLC - a company devoted to cultivating aspiring music artists, He is also the head of Hession Entertainment Group, LLC (artist management) and the Music Industry Liaison for the artist discovery site, TalentWatch ( He has over 25 years experience in the music business as a performer, composer, producer and artist manager. Hugh holds a BA in Marketing and is a professional member of NARIP and a voting member of The Recording Academy. He often speaks at seminars and workshops on artist development.

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