It's not every day a music artist hits 1 billion views on YouTube. Asian pop artist Park Jae-sang, who is also known as PSY, is getting ready to do just that, however. PSY's hit "Gangnam Style" has been viewed nearly 900K times on YouTube since it was released in July.
As you might expect, PSY is making lots of money from this hot song. However, most of the profits aren't coming from music sales in the rapper's homeland of South Korea. Instead, the majority of the money being made from the song is coming from YouTube ads, iTunes downloads, and from TV commercials. It's estimated PSY and his camp will make at least $8.1 million this year. Less than $60,000 of that will come from online music sales in South Korea.
As the first Asian pop artist to capture a massive global audience, PSY's success shows a shift in how money is being made in the music business. TubeMogul estimates PSY and his agent YG Entertainment have made about $870,000 from ad revenue on YouTube videos. PSY and YG Entertainment also make money on videos that parody his songs.
In addition to YouTube ad sales, Gangnam Style has been downloaded 2.9 million times in the U.S. which has generated about $2.6 million for the PSY camp. The story isn't the same in South Korea, where people pay less than $10 each month for a music subscription service that lets them download and stream songs. As a result, PSY and his camp will likely make only about $61,000 even though Gangnam Style has already been downloaded more than 3.6 million times and streamed around 40 million times in South Korea.
Gangnam Style has become the most-watched video on YouTube ever, beating out Justin Bieber's "Baby" video which has more than 808 million views. The United States has the most views of Gangnam Style, followed by Thailand and South Korea.