According to reports , Gangnam Style, which is racing towards 1 billion views on YouTube, will net pop star Psy at least $7.9 million this year.
Despite the unprecedented YouTube success of Gangnam, Psy won’t even make $1 million from the video itself. The AP cited TubeMogul, a video and ad-buying platform, which estimates Psy will make $870,000 from ads shown during the video. Google takes about half of the ad revenues. With about 880 million views for the video at present, that nets out to $0.001 — one-tenth of one cent — per view.
Happily for Psy, there were also 2.7 million iTunes downloads for the tune, which will bring him about $2.4 million in income. (Apple takes 30% of all sales.) Psy also makes about $0.02 every time the song is played on a streaming service in South Korea, resulting in about $61,000, according to the report. CD sales added another $50,000 or so.
In addition, Psy, a.k.a. Park Jae-sang, is also part of a family that owns 30% of DI Corp., a South Korean company that makes equipment companies use to make computer chips. The sale price of the stock has doubled since Gangnam was released.
As Psy’s income shows, singers these days are sort of akin to tennis players, who make modest incomes from their sport, but can pull in seven- or eight-figure salaries with endorsement contracts. Last year’s viral YouTube sensation, Rebecca Black, discovered the same when her hit Friday netted around $62,000 after 53 million views of the video and 37,000 iTunes downloads.