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Gangnam Style has made over $8 million — just from YouTube advertising

If you’ve been wondering how much money is being made from all the hype around PSY’s crazy music video and hit song, Google has given you a ball park figure: US$8-million. That’s how much the Korean pop star’s video has earned from the billion plus views it’s gathered on YouTube.

Google’s chief business officer Nikesh Arora dropped the figure into the company’s Q4 earnings conference call, saying YouTube’s most-watched video of all time has been generating an impressive amount of revenue from the adverts you’ve probably been skipping to get the video to start. He said estimates suggest that Gangam Style has “generated over 8-million dollars in advertising deals”, probably playing a significant role in how “YouTube partner revenue has doubled for the fourth consecutive year.”

But, as Quartz points out, the video uploader doesn’t keep all of that money — Google gets half, so PSY and his record company have probably only taken home around US$4-million. The most recent estimates of sales of the song on iTunes suggest that they have made more than US$2.4-million from the 2.7-million or so downloads of the mp3.

The record-breaking video currently has around 1.23-billion views, which Google has commemorated with a horse-dancing PSY figurine next to the view counter:

gangnam style view count

Arora used Gangnam Style as an example of the type of success that creators had found on YouTube, adding that in 2012, “viewers watched over 4-billion hours of YouTube a month.”

Author | Lauren Granger

Lauren Granger
While studying towards her Bachelor of Journalism degree at Rhodes University, Lauren gave into her fascination with everything digital. As she was more interested in creeping tech sites and Twitter than she was in picking up one of those printed things called 'newspapers', she decided to specialise in... More

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