How Kobalt Helps Creators Capitalize on YouTube
As we move further into the Golden Age of Music, the music industry has to deal with a variety of revenue streams that weren’t there as recently as 10 years ago. Chief among these is YouTube, which has traditionally been challenging for creators to understand and maximize. And yet, the service is the fastest growing content delivery system for music, and it’s going to keep growing (more on that in a bit).
Creators should not shy away from YouTube; instead, they should capitalize on the increasing viewership and escalating view counts to grow another revenue stream and engage their fans. Through Kobalt’s unique system, we reduce inefficiencies in the process of claiming User-Generated Content (UGC) to increase the amount of money our clients see from video. YouTube is here to stay, and Kobalt has been uniquely positioned to help creators of all sizes take advantage of it.
If you’re serious about growing your career and making money, you have to consider all the sources of income. No longer is it okay to not take youTube seriously, or worse, ignore it. One need only look at the popularity of video streaming among the key demographic of “millennials” (13 to 34 years old) and especially with teenagers (13 to 17 years old) to see that the industry ignores YouTube at its own risk. After all, YouTube reaches more people in key demographics (both 18-34 and 18-49) than any cable network in the United States, and 91% of Internet-using teens in the US say they have used YouTube.
Not only is YouTube popular with youth, the service continues to expand in reach and size. Over a billion users worldwide (roughly a third of everyone on the internet) are generating over 4 billions of views per day, while creators are uploading 400 hours of video content a minute. And those numbers will only keep climbing.
With all these things in mind, it would behoove creators to treat YouTube as a powerful revenue stream. And to make the most of it, understand the challenges and opportunities when it comes to properly monetizing YouTube: data integrity, finding videos, and early detection.
On YouTube, one song can have as many as 7 different sources of information, leading to 14 asset IDs. This can muddle the claiming process quite a bit. Data integrity on YouTube has not completely caught up to its massive popularity; incorrect data has been uploaded by third parties with stakes in songs, data has been incorrectly merged, leading to artist and ownership information errors, and multiple versions of song asset uploads might not have the correct shares listed. This leads to lower payouts for the creators, and more confusion on the backend, which in turn leads to incorrect payments.
Even with all of the correct data, finding videos that use your work can still be difficult. YouTube uses 30 second reference files (clips of songs that help find videos to claim, such as a chorus, or a particular piece of music that’s distinctive), so anything below that threshold could be missed. Even with great reference files in Melody Match, videos can still be missed, leading to a loss in revenue for clients.
And finally, not only must we find videos to claim, but we have to receive the song’s metadata as early as possible in order to maximize the views we are monetizing against. The chart below highlights how important early detection is for songs, especially viral hits; the majority of a videos’s views will occur in the first few months. If you start claiming after a video has 3 million views, you don’t get to collect on those; you’re starting fresh from the 3,000,001th view.
How does Kobalt solve these problems? We’re investing in technology to drive more value out of YouTube revenue for all of our clients. We’ve built a two-pronged solution to the three-part problem; it starts with onboarding and attention to data detail. In order to catch the right videos early enough to get the most money, our clients and internal teams work together to make sure nothing slips through the cracks.
Our onboarding makes sure that our clients know exactly what they need to do upon joining us in order to let us help them maximize YouTube. That means submitting the videos and relevant data to our YouTube team in order to make sure we’re collecting from day one. Not only that, but we make sure that all information is merged appropriately, and that everything is uploaded to YouTube in a clear way. This means clients need to provide not just their information, but also full breakdowns of who else worked on the song (writers, producers, studio musicians), so that they can be paid as well. The less time that any claim can be held in conflict, the faster payments will come through, and that starts with providing the correct data to Kobalt at the time of onboarding and as soon as new works become available.
After that, we give a full-court press approach for each video, consisting of three distinct parts: our technological solution ProKlaim, our research team, and our human analysis. With ProKlaim we catch more videos, ensuring that as many possible views are counted. You can read more about ProKlaim on our website, here. Additionally, we don’t ignore the human element; our team is trained to know where to look for UGC content and additional versions of a track that might fall through the tracks. Whether that means searching through blogs or scouring social media, we go the extra mile to help our clients receive the money they deserve for their works.
As an example, we looked at a hit song that we recently acquired and saw that our system increased total claims by 57%, and manual claims by 100%. These claims are directly increasing the revenue that clients see from YouTube.
So, what does all of this mean for creators? Well, our two-pronged solution increases YouTube payments by an average of 15%, by capturing the correct data and monetizing more videos. Not only do clients see more money in their pockets, but they get to see all of the data presented with the Kobalt transparency, in real-time in the Kobalt App and Portal. With our system, we are able to capture up to 99% of videos that are possible to claim, with up to 94% of the money flowing to us.
At Kobalt, the way we think of the YouTube problem is simple: we’re finding smarter, more efficient ways to claim more videos, using technology and our team. We make it more simple and more rewarding for creators. The solution is three-fold: efficiency, transparency, and technology. Simple.