Swiss Musician PJ Wasserman Says His Income From YouTube is ‘Next to Nothing’
In an article for Digital Music News, Swiss musician and producer PJ Wassermann shares what he's earned from music posted to YouTube, adding to the growing discourse about musicians' dissatisfaction with the video-streaming site, its licensing contracts and how it monetizes artists’ work.
“By the end of January 2014 I was a YouTube partner and started uploading all my content and my so far 28 videos,” Wassermann writes. “But above all I was able to monetize the many third party uploads of my music. Or so I thought because it soon became clear that all my views added ... next to nothing in my income reports.”
Wassermann’s content has accounted for more than 150,000 plays and more than 680,000 minutes in play time. Despite that, his YouTube profit came to a mere $10.02.
While Wassermann took issue with his meager revenue, he also pointed out that the logic behind his payout seemingly didn’t add up either.
“Why do 20,926 views of ‘9. Best of Chillout…’ pay $2.96 but 17,594 views of ‘funny cows singing mix’ pay only $0.28? I don’t know,” he continues. “The same song under the name of ‘La chanson de la vache Techno remix’ pays $2.20 for 24,908 views. 7,498 views ‘MUH! by Matterhorn Project (original 80ies video)’, same song again, pay nothing at all. This is weird.”
Wassermann’s account – which comes with detailed screen caps of his YouTube metrics and revenue – follows Canadian musician Zoë Keating’s very public back-and-forth about YouTube’s licensing agreement, continuing to put YouTube and its newly launched Music Key in the hot seat and calling into question whether or not the site -- along with other streaming services -- devalue artists’ work.