UMG Reports YouTube Making Them Millions

    December 22, 2008

Well, it looks like the most popular video site on the Internet is making somebody money—but it might not be Google. Universal Music Group reports that YouTube is making them “tens of millions of dollars.”

Rio Caraeff, executive vice president of Universal Music Group’s eLabs and head of their digital group, told CNET:

[YouTube] is not like radio, where it’s just promotional. It’s a revenue stream, a commercial business. It’s growing tremendously. It’s up almost 80 percent for us year-over-year in the U.S. in terms of our revenue from this category.

The tens of millions are part of $100 million in video streaming revenue for the company. The money comes from not only a partnership with YouTube, but other sites including MTV, iMeem and MySpace. Three years ago, UMG made nothing from their videos.

While this is a good sign for YouTube in terms of growth and monetization, which has been a major focus for the site this year, as CNET points out, the results may be more about UMG’s efforts than YouTube’s:

Universal’s YouTube channel is overwhelmingly the largest on the video site. The record label is the all-time most viewed channel, with nearly 3 billion views. Second-place Sony BMG, the second largest recording company, trails by more than 2 billion views with 485 million total views.

Of the top 10 channels on YouTube, 7 are music related. They include channels from Warner Bros. Records, Soulja Boy, and Disney’s Hollywood Records.

Caraeff says that there’s also more to come:

“We’re working with them on a variety of new concepts and new businesses to take the groundwork we’ve done in the last year and half and do a lot more with it,” he added. “I wouldn’t expect to see us just do business with YouTube like we used to do.”

Earlier this month, YouTube also vowed that there would be more to come in terms of monetization for the site. Any guesses what we’ll see next year?