Avril Lavigne's YouTube video earns her £1m in a year
The Canadian pop-punk princess will be picking up a handsome cheque after the video for Girlfriend received 100m hits
guardian.co.uk, Wednesday July 23 2008
We're glad that someone's figured out how to make some money in an era of all-free, all-digital music. We're just not sure it ought to have been Avril Lavigne. Thanks to the forward-thinking strategies of her management, the singer has netted a cool £1m just from fans watching a music video on YouTube.
Last year, Nettwerk Management uploaded the official Girlfriend video to the popular video-sharing website. Twelve months later, thanks to a coordinated fan campaign, the video has clocked up almost 100m hits from around the world. And where there are page-views, there are ad-views. Even after YouTube takes its cut, "there's about a $2m (£1m) cheque waiting for her for all her YouTube plays," Nettwerk Management CEO Terry McBride explained to MusicTank.
Together with its sister record label, Vancouver-based Nettwerk Management has been one of the most controversial voices in the mainstream music industry, arguing that companies needs to forgo old methods and embrace the opportunities that the internet presents. In 2006 they offered to pay the legal fees of David Greubel – a Texas teenager being sued by the Recording Industry Association of America for downloading music - and they were among the first big labels to sell all their music in un-encrypted MP3 format.
McBride argues that song downloads should cost just 25 cents (12p), and albums just four dollars (£2). "You'd see a huge shift," he told MusicTank. "We haven't even given kids the choice to show us this tipping point yet ... the profit margin in the digital space is about 300% that inside the physical space."
Other than Avril Lavigne, Nettwerk manages such artists as Dido, the Pipettes and Martha Wainwright, while the Nettwerk label releases music by the likes of Sarah McLachlan, Ron Sexsmith and the Be Good Tanyas.
With £1m on its way from YouTube, Nettwerk still isn't done with the Lavigne video. They are now targeting Asia, McBride explained. "We will start a Mandarin website with Mandarin ads and we will make a shitload of money, because 40% of her intellectual property value comes from Asia."
All Nettwerk needs to do now is figure out a way (Hey! Hey!) to earn a couple of pence (You! You!) every time that song gets stuck in our heads. (I don't like your girlfriend!)http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/jul/23/avril.lavigne.youtube
And that's just for one single official video on YouTube!
Interesting comments from her management's CEO re: the music industry's need to move toward a 21st century business model.