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Gangnam Style’s Psy becomes millionaire with YouTube adverts, iTunes downloads

Written on:December 6, 2023
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Gangnam Style turns Psy into millionaire with advertising revenue

Psy’s Gangnam Style, that became the most watched YouTube video ever, has made the South-Korean singer not only a cult figure but also a millionaire as he rakes in big bucks from adverts on the YouTube site and iTunes downloads.

Gangnam Style’s popularity peaked in October when it topped the UK and US charts and went onto garner attention from 888 million viewers on YouTube since its release in July. Gangnam Style became a source of income for Psy since then. Psy’s official channel on YouTube, which curates his songs and videos of his concerts, has had nearly 1.3 billion views.

Psy and his agent YG Entertainment have earned around £540,000 ($870,000) as their share of the revenue from adverts that appear before YouTube videos, as per TubeMogul, a video advert buying platform.

Psy and YG Entertainment also earn from views of videos that parody his songs. Google detects videos that use copyrighted content, and allows artists to make a choice on whether to get the video removed or allow it to stay online and share advert revenue with YouTube.

According to Nielsen SoundScan, Gangnam Style has been downloaded 2.7 million times in the US and has been the No 1 or No 2 seller for most weeks since its debut in July. Gangnam Style sells for 99p ($1.29) on Apple’s iTunes Store.

Apple will get to keep about 30% of all sales, so the PSY camp could be due more than £1.5m ($2.4m). South Korean industry insiders believe that Psy gets 70% and YG Entertainment 30% for US downloads.

Psy earns the most from television commercials, which has made him the most successful of South Korea’s pop stars. Psy has become a global rage with Gangnam Style, which has led Samsung refrigerators and a major noodle company sign him on for television commercials.


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