Google’s Senior VP and Chief Business Officer, Nikesh Arora told reporters and Wall Street this week on his company’s Q4 2012 earnings call that the world now watches over 4 billion (with a “b”) hours of YouTube per month. He also revealed that a chunk of those viewing hours are spent watching one video, which also accounted for a sizable seven-figure payday for the Mountain View-based internet-related products and services corporation.
YouTube viewings of the worldwide smash hit Gangnam Style brought in over $8 million in revenue for Google in 2012, according to Arora. That’s significantly more cash generated from South Korean pop star Psy’s sensational music video than previously estimated. In December 2012, online video advertising services and pundits put YouTube’s gross earnings from Psy in the ballpark of $1.75 million.
The discrepancy between those guesstimates and Arora’s figure are a result of one of two reasons: 1) YouTube sold a significantly higher CPM on Gangnam Style than anyone realized (which is entirely possible, given the hype and massive appeal of the video, especially as it was heading towards the never-before-reached achievement of one billion views) or 2) Arora is taking into account associated advertising and sponsorship revenue Google generated from Gangnam Style outside of the official video’s actual views.
Regardless, that $8 million in revenue amassed by Gangnam Style in 2012 at roughly 1 billion views breaks down to an average of $0.008 per view or an $8 CPM. That figure’s not fantastic, but it’s definitely not bad. Not bad at all. Especially if you’re Psy.