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'Op! Op! Op!' Gangnam Style earns Google $8m

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Google has pulled in $8m from the over one billion YouTube views of Korean rapper – or K-pop entertainer, your call – Psy's Gangnam Style (강남스타일) video.

That stunning figure was revealed by Google senior VP and chief business officer Nikesh Arora during Tuesday's conference call with analysts and reporters after Google released its fourth quarter earnings report, which also revealed that the company brought in a total of $14.42bn in revenues for that quarter and $50.2bn for all of 2012.

While Psy's überpopular ditty's ad-generated revenue might seem impressive at first blush, Gangnam Style accounted for a mere 0.016 per cent of Mountain View's calandar-year haul.

What's more, as Quartz notes, Psy's take of that $8m was a cool $4m – which, we can only assume, is a far higher percentage of his 2012 take-home than Google's remaining $4m.

Gangnam Style – the "Mairzy Doats" of last year – has been viewed 1,233,872,169 times as of this writing, and surpassed Justin Bieber's "Baby" last November as the most-watched video in YouTube history. As of this morning, the Canadian moppet's music video lagged far behind 강남스타일 with a mere 823,774,667 views.

We'll leave it up to you, gentle reader, to divine what the popularity of those two song-and-dance acts reveal about the state of world culture. Your humble Reg reporter, however, would be more sanguine about global taste if the late Don Van Vliet's estate earned $4m for Captain Beefheart and His Magic Band's heartfelt rendition of "Old Fart At Play".

But alas, Old Fart videos have been viewed only around 15,000 times in their multiple YouTube iterations. Bieber and Psy – and Google – demonstrate a far better understanding of public predilections. ®

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