YouTube success story not paying cash

Marketplace Staff Apr 22, 2009
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YouTube success story not paying cash

Marketplace Staff Apr 22, 2009
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TEXT OF STORY

Steve Chiotakis: It hasn’t even been two weeks since the Scottish singer Susan Boyle took the world by storm. Her appearance on the TV competition “Britain’s Got Talent” is well on its way to being the most watched video clip ever on the Web site YouTube. But the company says it still hasn’t made a dime from the video. Joel Rose has more.


Joel Rose: Thanks to YouTube, roughly 100 million people have watched Susan Boyle charm a cynical crowd with her rendition of “I Dreamed a Dream” from Les Miserables.

[Sounds from YouTube clip of Susan Boyle]

You might think that’s a tremendous payday for YouTube. But you would be wrong. A spokesman for YouTube, which is owned by Google, says it has not sold any advertising with the clip, at the request of the show’s creator.

Eliot Van Buskirk is a blogger for Wired.com:

Eliot Van Buskirk: If there’s a bigger success story in YouTube’s history, I haven’t heard about it. And yet there’s no windfall of cash for anyone, which I find shocking.

Van Buskirk speculates that a music licensing problem is to blame. It’s another illustration that YouTube is better at attracting eyeballs than it is at making profits.

Singer Susan Boyle hasn’t made any money yet, either. But she’s likely to wind up with a recording contract whether or not she goes on to win the competition.

I’m Joel Rose for Marketplace.

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