• Gutovska & Partners

'Monetisation of Art' (a legal brief on YouTube)

Updated: Jul 20, 2019

The monetisation of art takes peculiar forms at different points of history and different levels of development of civilisation: from the paid entrance to the Gladiators' Fights and an extremely difficult-to-arrange commissioning of an outlandish painter for preator's wife portrait to colourful Moulin Rouge and Damien Hirst's formolised sharks. Modern times see a new form of monetisation: a commerce on and with YouTube. Bogdan Kotovich, a Gutovska & Partners associate, shares his brief on this monetisation.

The popular opinion that internet service YouTube pays money for video views based on their number is not correct. The income actually depends on the partner programs engaged by the owner of the video, and not on the number of the 'hits'. The 'reviews' of the advertisements are crucial, i.e., if you have uploaded a YouTube video and have enabled 'monetization' (connected with a partner program) then you will see that the advertising message will appear on the video. When a viewer will watch it or 'switch' to it, then the payment determined by the partner program will be credited to your account.


The criteria for YouTube partnership


YouTube channel may be eligible for the YouTube Partner Program if it will be corresponds to the some kinds of criteria, they are:


- you must be an active user of the Youtube service and

- regularly upload your videos

- create interesting, relevant and required quality video.

- You must be the owner of the video and audio content.

- You must have more than 1,000 hits of your video.


When you become member of the program, you need to monetise your video and switch to advertising. From this moment for every watch of it you will receive some amount of funds.

How much exactly do they pay? It is quite difficult to give an exact number and give a definitive answer, because the amount depends on many factors. It depends on the theme / genre of your video, number of views, and from a partner program. Let us say, You had 1000000 views of one video, and 10% of the viewers (100000 people) clicked on the advertisement. The 'price' of the advertisement is 0,5 $ (it may vary significantly) for 1 click. So in this case the advertising has brought 50000$ (100000 x 0.5$ = 50000$) of the total payments. YouTube takes a 50% share out of this amount and you get your 50% ( 25000 $) too.


The partnership often raise serious questions of intellectual property rights, disputes over the content and its legality in certain jurisdictions, and tax implications. Gutovska & Partners advises clients on these and other issues associated with this modern 'monetisation of art'.

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