The modern day streaming model for music consumption is nice for listeners, but doesn’t always help out the artists and songwriters creating the music.
Just take it from Snoop Dogg, who recently wasn’t afraid to unveil one of the music industry’s secrets when it comes to compensation for streaming. One might assume that once you get to the fame level of Snoop, you can coast on the earnings of your songs, but that’s simply not the case.
In a recent interview, Snoop Dogg recalled a check that he received from the streaming platform Spotify. He knew he had impressively garnered over one billion (with a “B”) streams across his expansive music catalogue, and wanted to see how those numbers transferred to his bank account.
Snoop, who appears to be “doing his thing” in the footage (remember that weird advertisement that made everyone think he was done with marijuana?), was clearly frustrated when he said this:
“They just sent me some sh*t from Spotify where I got a billion streams, right? My publisher hit me, I said ‘break that down, how much money is that?’ That sh*t wasn’t even $45,000.”
How are you supposed to be able to afford Gin AND juice when you’re getting skimped by streaming platforms like that? Poor Snoop is probably having to choose just one or the other at this point (just kidding, he’s doing just fine).
One billion streams doesn’t necessarily mean that one billion people have listened. Streaming numbers account for single users listening to songs multiple times, but still, only $45,000 from one billion? When you do the math on that, it leaves you one of those weird answers that used to confuse you when it popped up on your calculator in high school math class.
Plus, just imagine the days before Apple Music and Spotify showed up, when you paid $0.99 for each song, or even $1.29. The math on those prices would be much more favorable for Snoop if you multiplied those by a billion…
That being said, of you write your own music, own the rights to the publishing, and don’t have 10 co-writers in the room to split it up with, you’d be pocketing SIGNIFICANTLY more money than $45,000. Do streaming platforms pay songwriters a decent price on their songs? No, not at all… but if you wrote a song that got a billion streams, and owned 100% of it, you’d be looking at more than $3.5 million dollars. And then throw in Apple and Amazon and wherever else you stream and you’re probably looking at a pretty penny.
Then again, nobody is really feeling bad about how much Snoop is making, right?