Lyor Cohen published a short blog post saying that YouTube aims “to become the leading revenue generator for the music industry.”

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The streaming and video platform reportedly paid out more than $4 billion in royalties to artists, songwriters, and rights-holders.

There wasn’t much detail on the post but Cohen wrote, “YouTube has paid over $4 billion to the music industry in the last 12 months alone and has added more paid members in Q1 ’21 than in any other quarter since launch.”


The revenue came from ads and premium subscriptions, and 40% from user-generated content.

YouTube has often been criticized for its low royalty rates in comparison to other streaming platforms, despite it being the largest streaming platform by far.

Spotify co-founder and CEO Daniel Ek announced that his company paid $5 billion to the music industry in 2020.

“We’re continuing to innovate with direct-to-fan products such as ticketing, merch, memberships, paid digital goods, and virtual ticketed events. BLACKPINK’s paid virtual concert – THE SHOW – sold nearly 280,000 channel memberships across 81 countries and helped the group earn 2.7 million new subscribers to their official artist channel,” he wrote.

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