The company strikes back at critics with a very big number.

Trent Reznor recently said YouTube was “built on the backs of free, stolen content,” but the company has made it harder to throw those claims around after reporting they’ve paid $1 billion to the music industry through advertisements alone.

The news was reported in a blog post by the company’s Chief Business Officer, Robert Kyncl and comes only one day after appointing new Global Head of Music, Lyor Cohen. Kyncl says the amount demonstrates “that multiple experiences and models are succeeding alongside each other”.

It’s a significant number, as Billboard point out, when put in perspective with Spotify’s $1.74 billion paid to the industry in 2015 (a number expected to sharply spike along with their momentous growth). Kyncl predicts growth all around and says it’s a sign the music industry will move in an equal split of advertising and subscription revenue, similar to TV.

None of the major recording industry labels — Universal, Warner, Sony Music, and the AAIM — have responded to the announcement. Trent hasn’t either.



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