Home Nobody is Making Money Online from Susan Boyle Video (Yet)

Nobody is Making Money Online from Susan Boyle Video (Yet)

Unless you lived in an exceptionally dark cave in the last two weeks, you probably weren’t able to escape the Susan Boyle phenomenon. According to some metrics, over 100 million people have watched the immaculately edited video of the ‘frumpy’ 47-year-old’s performance on Britain’s Got Talent (BGT) by now. While this is most definitely an interesting cultural phenomenon, the Times today also reports that neither ITV, the network that shows BGT, nor YouTube have really been able to directly profit from this huge hit because the network and YouTube have been arguing about the terms of their advertising agreement.

ITV, according to the Times Online, wants to run pre-roll ads before its videos, but YouTube, even though it is still highly unprofitable, is still resisting this move because, unsurprisingly, its research has shown that pre-roll ads are very unpopular with its users. Interestingly, on its own site, ITV features a sponsored player, but no pre-roll ads.

It is also noteworthy that the most popular version of the video (with about 41 million views so far) was uploaded by a fan, BritainsSoTalented, and ITV doesn’t even seem to have its own YouTube channel.

So, how much money did ITV lose so far? About $1.87 million, according to the Times Online’s Dan Sabbagh, based on the assumption that a TV network could get about $20 to $35 per 1000 viewers, which is not completely unreasonable, though we have also seen far lower numbers around $12 and less. Using those numbers, ITV probably lost about $1 million, which is still quite a lot of money, especially considering that this is just pure, additional profit for the network. But then, few people have ever been able to turn a YouTube hit into direct income and most of the rewards come later in the form of recording contracts or endorsement deals.

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