Streaming services like Spotify have totally changed the way we consume music. Gone are the days of illegally downloading Soulja_Boy_CRANKTHAT.mp3 off LimeWire, because now we’ve got a totally legal to listen to music that makes sure artists get paid.
However, it is becoming increasingly apparent that the actual amount these artists are getting paid is far less than you’d imagine, and they’re starting to talk about it.
Musician L. Dre The Giant has taken to TikTok to expose exactly how much he was paid from both Spotify and other streaming services for his song ‘Shibuya’, which has amassed nearly 3 million streams.
@ldrethegiantReply to @thegreatphen How much I got paid for 3 million streams ##spotify ##musician
On Spotify alone, the song has been streamed a whopping 2,196,620 times (at the time the video was posted). But L. Dre asserts that he was only paid $5,352.82 (presumably USD) for those plays. Obviously, without seeing his actual bank statements, it’s impossible for us to verify that figure, but it seems to roughly add up to the information that is publicly available.
Spotify doesn’t release a set pay-per-stream rate, but analysts have estimated to be roughly $0.00318 per stream. So, if this number is correct (and again, this is just one estimate), L Dre would’ve presumably earned $6,985.25 before taxes, fees and any other costs he may incur. Meanwhile, Spotify reported a gross profit of $511 million USD in Q1 2020, according to Business of Apps.
To make matters worse, the news comes just a week after literal billionaire CEO Daniel Ek made some controversial comments regarding the growing concern that the platform isn’t paying artists fairly, according to Musically.
“You can’t record music once every three to four years and think that’s going to be enough. The artists today that are making it realise that it’s about creating a continuous engagement with their fans. It is about putting the work in, about the storytelling around the album, and about keeping a continuous dialogue with your fans,” he said.