Gangnam-Buster Profits

Photo: Don Arnold/WireImage/Getty Images

The K-pop star Psy’s very viral “Gangnam Style” video has dethroned Justin Bieber’s “Baby” as the most-viewed YouTube clip ever. (It may reach a billion views by year’s end.) How much is such a modern cultural achievement worth? Neither the singer’s reps nor the site would reveal terms, but using industry standards, it’s possible to calculate a conservative estimate. And as the figures below show, they’re not the only parties reaping a windfall.

Number of YouTube views of the “Gangnam Style” video (as of 1 p.m., November 30): 853,942,076

Standard rate YouTube pays to video owners forevery 1,000 views: $2

Estimated total YouTube revenue received by Team Psy: $1,707,884.15

YouTube’s estimated cut: $1,366,307.32
(Based on rates provided by Jason Calacanis, CEO of Mahalo, a top YouTube partner.)

Psy’s estimated revenues from U.S. digital music sales of “Gangnam Style”: $243,720
(Per a calculation by entertainment lawyer Steve Gordon, applying standard American royalties to the 2.7 million copies the song has sold.)

Share Price Increases of …

YG Entertainment, a South Korean company that manages Psy, since the video’s YouTube release: 26%

Hite Jinro, a Korean distiller, since Psy drank a bottle of its sojuat a concert on October 4: 20.5%

DI, a South Korean semiconductor manufacturer for which Psy’s dad is chairman and his uncle is vice-chairman of the board, but that has no relation to Psy’s music: 154%

Year-over-year increase in U.S. tourists to South Korea in October: 6,055

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Gangnam-Buster Profits