Home » Arts & Entertainment » Entertainment Industry » Why Did Gotye Turn Down Millions in YouTube Royalties?
Gotye on Youtube Royalties

Why Did Gotye Turn Down Millions in YouTube Royalties?

Wouter André Wally De Backer, most commonly known as Gotye, is a Belgian-Australian singer-songwriter. His song Somebody That I Used To Know reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 and became the best-selling song of 2012. His one-hit-wonder of a song truly raked in views on YouTube, but Gotye refused to claim any of the royalties. 

Gotye chose not to pre-roll ads on his YouTube channel because of his antipathy to advertising. His billboard topping song “Somebody That I Used To Know” is a shy away from billion of views which could have cost him millions of YouTube royalties. 

Who is Gotye?

Wouter André Wally De Backer was born on 21 May 1980, Gotye is a Belgian-Australian musician. He is also a founding member of the Melbourne indie-pop trio The Basics, who has independently released four studio albums and numerous other titles since 2002. 

Gotye has released three studio solo albums and one album featuring remixes of tracks from his first two albums. Although successful in his music career, Gotye is not even enjoying the spoils of his massive success. 

Gotye on His Success

Gotye opted not to pre-roll ads on his YouTube channel, which might have cost him millions in royalties, given almost a billion views of his famous Kimbra duet song Somebody That I To Know. Here is his explanation;

I’m not interested in selling my music. That’s why I don’t put ads on my YouTube channel, which seems strange to people in today’s climate, but that is a decision you can make. I’m like that with all my music.  I generally, never want to synch my music for products on ads. Ads are calling for our attention anywhere we turn in the world. If you can do something you care about and that other people care about and keep it out of that world that feels like it’s all about hey, buy this stuff, then that’s a good thing.

Wouter André Wally De Backer “Gotye”

Although, he agreed to give 50 percent royalties of this song to the estate of Luiz Bonfa, where their song Seville in 1967 is sampled on the track. He says that he doesn’t mind syncing his music with other creative projects like film or TV, but to use it commercially through ads is a different issue as it affects the creativity of his work.

There was a moment when I could have considered going to court, but I didn’t want to spend that time of my life doing that. The incredible work that my managers did protect me from very far-reaching requests for percentages of my songwriting. I decided it made more sense to focus on creative things and not get hung up on money and lawyers and courts. You don’t want to be in places that drain your energy.

Wouter André Wally De Backer “Gotye”

(Source: Billboard)

What Does Gotye Do Today? 

Currently, Gotye lives in Brooklyn now. He finished touring Making Mirrors in 2013. Gotye also spent some time making an album and touring Australia with his other band, The Basics, where Gotye is the drummer. 

He traveled beyond Australia’s Northeastern wilderness territory, Arnhem Land, where he met legendary didgeridoo player Djalu Gurruwiwi and was able to film for the new documentary Westwind: Djalu’s Legacy. 

For the past two years, he has been busy working on his fourth album under his name, Gotye, which is coming very soon. Such a commendable character, Gotye. (Source: Billboard)

Leave a Comment