Wiz Khalifa’s ‘See You Again’ music video has overtaken PSY’s ‘Gangnam Style’ as the most-watched YouTube video of all-time. The Pittsburgh rapper ended the South Korean’s run atop the video site on Monday thanks to fans who could not get enough of the 2015 chart-topper. Unfortunately for Khalifa, the honor comes with very little compensation.
YouTube has come under fire lately for its lack of royalties given to artists producing videos. High-profile musicians like Steven Tyler, Katy Perry, and Elvis Costello have been outspoken about YouTube’s miniscule payments. According to reports, the site refuses to disclosed its payments, which are predicted to be extremely low. Judging by YouTube’s net worth of $70 billion, it could afford to compensate Khalifa for his historic passing of PSY.
‘Gangnam Style’ had held strong for five whole years as YouTube’s top video. Since it was uploaded to the site in 2012, the dance sensation collected 2.894 billion views. ‘See you Again’ officially broke that record this week with 2.9 billion views. Justin Bieber’s music video for ‘Sorry’ currently ranks third all-time in YouTube hits.
Released for the soundtrack of the film Furious 7, ‘See You Again’ received critical acclaim. Khalifa teamed up with pop-singer Charlie Puth for the powerful single that followed the death of the film’s star Paul Walker. The song quickly rose to #1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 Chart, and has since gone platinum in nearly every major country in the world. ‘See You Again’ was nominated for three Grammy Awards, while capturing Best Song honors at the Critics Choice Awards.
Artists Against YouTube
What Khalifa’s viral achievement can do is shed light back onto the ongoing battle between YouTube and artists. The popular video site has cited non-disclosure agreements for its lack of artist compensation in the past. The platform is also able to avoid any copyright infringements due to its safe harbor protections. Services like Spotify and Apple have begun compensating artists sufficiently, perhaps paving the path for the video site to properly contribute to the music industry. Artists everywhere can only hope that YouTube changes its tune quickly.