PSY — whose real name is Park Jae-sang — and his video for Gangnam Style are a true sensation. Featuring an infectious beat and distinctive dance moves, it has been viewed almost 1 billion times on Google‘s (NASDAQ:GOOG) YouTube website. That leads to money from the site’s advertising system. His combined income, estimated by the Associated Press, from the YouTube advertising and the singer’s commercials, will be just shy of $8 million in 2012.
The music industry is shifting away from direct music sales. At least, the artists are. With YouTube and other ad-driven revenue sources available, an artist no longer has to move music out to the world through a traditional sales model to cash in. Now, a memorable video can make a musician more money than a record label can bring in.
Gangnam Style has been downloaded 2.7 million times from legal music services, such as Apple‘s (NASDAQ:AAPL) iTunes. That’s approximately another $2.4 million heading to the star and his managers.