When Rebecca Black’s “Friday” came out, people were quick to make fun of Black and her music. This was back in 2011, when people were only starting to figure out YouTube’s potential of making people famous, and Black was only 13 when she released her song and music video through Ark Music Records.
Both received overwhelmingly negative reviews from critics, but Black would also receive hate mail from people who hated her song. In some cases, the hate would go so far that she would receive death threats and needed to contact local police to investigate.
While “Friday” wasn’t the best music produced in 2011, it wouldn’t be the last single for Black. She went on to produce more singles, her first album, music covers, and many more music videos. And as she progressed in her music career, she would also go on to have matured and improved her lyrics and singing talent.
So, to all of Rebecca Black’s haters: you can make fun of “Friday” all you want. Because chances are, she’s earned so much from that video and all her other music that she’s earned so much more than the average 21-year old today.
Rebecca Black’s Earnings from “Friday”
Rebecca Black was only 13 when she learned from a classmate of Ark Music Records, a music production company that could, for a price, record her singing a pre-written song and an accompanying music video. Her mother paid $4,000, less than half of which was used for production costs, though it was said they could have been made free if they relinquished all rights to whatever Black recorded.
Fortunately, Black retained the rights to her video. After a legal dispute where the original “Friday” video was taken down, Black re-uploaded the video on her own personal YouTube Channel.
How Do YouTubers Earn Money?
After “Friday” became the laughingstock of the internet, people claimed that Black had become a millionaire thanks to all the YouTube views. If you aren’t aware and have just been assuming that YouTube celebrities have been spending thousands just to produce videos for the sake of online fame, think again. Not all YouTubers get paid for their videos, but those with at least a thousand active subscribers and a Patreon account can rake in that money just by uploading.
This article from Bustle best explains how YouTubers can make money. Basically, if you have many subscribers and/or have a video with high traffic, businesses will want to take advantage of the people looking at your video and place ads before, after, or in the middle of your video. If YouTube sees that your video is “advertiser friendly” (no swearing or sensitive topics that a business doesn’t want to be associated with), Google Ads places the ads on your videos. And if a certain amount of people see the ads, you get paid.
How Much Did Rebecca Black Earn?
Sadly, Black didn’t earn a million dollars from “Friday’s” YouTube views. While she did go viral on social media and earned 30 million views a week after the music video’s release. Back in 2010, YouTube’s Partner agreement doesn’t guarantee how much you’ll be paid and is based on how many people view your video.
For every thousand views your video gets, YouTube earns about a dollar. This is split two ways: You, the YouTuber, earn 68 percent of the profit, while YouTube takes the rest as a fee for hosting the website. If a YouTuber is under a Multi-Channel Network, the MCN takes a percentage of that 68 percent. In this case, Black had to divide profits with Ark Music Records.
So, if the video gained 30 million views in a week, the video earned $30,000. Take 68 percent of this, and Black would have $20,400. If she kept all this money, this would have been five times the investment her mother made on Ark Music Records. However, it’s most likely that she had to divide the earnings with Ark Music.
Assuming the Partner Program is still the same as it is today, though, how much would she earn? As of writing, the music video now on her personal channel has 132.2 million views. That would mean the video earned $132,200, which meant Black would earn almost $90,000 just for letting the video sit on her channel for the last eight years.
It’s not a million dollars, but $30,000 isn’t a small amount for many people. However, this is only ad revenue on YouTube. We haven’t considered the revenue she made from iTunes. Back then, iTunes charged $0.70 for every single download. In the United States alone, there were 37,000 sales. That’s almost $26,000 in just local sales alone.
How Much Is Rebecca Black Worth Today?
Today, Rebecca Black has started the roots of her career with a few songs after “Friday,” more music videos, and many covers that show her matured voice and style. Based on her YouTube traffic and all the other ways she earns, Celebrity Net Worth estimates that she’s worth around $1.5 million.
Rebecca Black’s net worth is still a longshot from other singers with higher net worth values, like Taylor Swift at $400 million, Lady Gaga at $300 million, or Beyoncé and Jay-Z with an accumulated $1.4 billion. But at 21 years old, it’s still a lot of money for someone so young and promises more financial success with her career if she continues to follow her passion and further her music career.