In what I found one of the stranger comments and articles on YouTube and its potential for generating a profits, the manager of Avril Lavigne - Terry McBride -asserted she's going to make about $2 million from all the plays her videos have had on YouTube. The problem? There's nothing to base that assertion upon but shifting sands of opinion.
McBride said at a London music conference this month that ”There’s about a $2 million cheque waiting for her for all her YouTube plays.” When asked how all that's going to happen by Silicon Alley Insider, McBride was clueless.
Admittedly, McBride has no idea what Google pays out for streaming and ignorant of the split between rights holders. He even adds that there probably won't be any meaningful payout for Lavigne for up to three years.
He hasn't even seen the first of what the royalty payments will be from YouTube.
So basically McBride is saying Lavigne will sometime, somewhere, get some money from YouTube. From that, he makes the determination it'll be for $2 million. What's this guy smoking? It's not that it's not possible, just that the comment in the context of this year at a London music conference is basically meaningless. Anybody could say that about anything.
To me, after the writer makes his point, he than undermines his point by agreeing with McBride that music artists need to start thinking of YouTube as more than a marketing tool, and look at "it as a revenue stream."
So based upon absolutely no data, other than a lot of people stream Lavigne's music videos on YouTube, and no idea of what the possible revenue from that will be, or how it will be split, it's now the conclusion that music acts need to consider it a revenue stream?
This just sounds like someone with some wishful thinking hoping YouTube doesn't change to a real monetization business. If Google wants to be financially successful with YouTube, they'll have to change its focus to professional content, which will change YouTube from what made it what it is. Google is already starting to make that transition.
Google is in trouble with YouTube, and as I've said many times in the past, the only reason shareholders put up with it is the continuing online text ad growth of the company. Once that slows down, many will start to look at YouTube in a similar way shareholders of Time Warner look at AOL: a drag on profits.
The other thing is, just because some of the top-level artists may make some money from YouTube, that has no direct correlation with YouTube being successful overall. It only means that a few limited artists may make some extra cash from their work. How that translates into anything valuable for YouTube, Google or its shareholders, has to be answered.