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‘One Plus One Ain’t Adding up to Two’: In a Viral Rant About Streaming, Snoop Dogg Wants to Know Why Artists Getting a Billion Streams Don’t Earn a Million Dollars

Hip-hop mogul Snoop Dogg is not happy about music streaming services. He says he’s confused as to why artists with billions of streaming minutes on popular streaming platforms are not earning at least a million dollars.

BEVERLY HILLS, CALIFORNIA – MAY 03: Snoop Dogg attends the 2023 Milken Institute Global Conference at The Beverly Hilton on May 03, 2023 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Jerod Harris/Getty Images)

In the midst of the Writers Guild of America’s 2023 strike for better compensation in the streaming age, and protection and job security in rise of artificial intelligence (AI) in the TV and film industry, Snoop Dogg offered his support and asked music executives at a recent business conference why there is a pay disparity for music artists, Insider reported.

“I mean, can someone explain to me how you can get a billion streams and not get a million dollars?” Snoop Dogg said.

Dogg made his comments at the Milken Institute Global Conference, an annual gathering of global leaders in government, finance, health, academia, and philanthropy, which was held April 30-May 3 in Beverly Hills, California.

Snoop Dogg, whose net worth is estimated at $150 million, called out the music streaming payout system during an interview with Apple’s former music creative director Larry Jackson at the conference. Snoop complained that music streaming services pay artists very little.

Off Topic Rant

“I know I’m going off script right now, but f–k it. This is business,” Snoop said. “In a room full of business people and somebody may hear this so the next artist don’t have to struggle and cry for his money because some of these artists are streaming millions and millions and millions and millions of f–king streams and they don’t got no millions of dollars in the pot.”

He continued, “I don’t know who the f–k is running the streaming industry if you in here or not? But you need to give us some information on how to f–king track this money down. Because one plus one ain’t adding up to two.”

How Streaming Revenue Works

There are two main ways that artists make money from streaming platforms: mechanical royalties and performance royalties.

Mechanical royalties are when the artist gets paid from the copyright holder of the sound recording, which is typically the record label or the artist if they are self-releasing. The amount of money paid per stream varies depending on the streaming platform, but it is typically around $0.005 to $0.01.

On Spotify, the average payment per stream ranges from $.003 to $.005. This implies that artists would have to secure approximately 250 streams to earn a dollar, Business Insider reported.

In April 2021, Apple Music announced it pays artists as much as $0.01 a stream.

Performance royalties are paid to the copyright holder of the composition, which is typically the songwriter or publisher. The amount of money paid per stream varies depending on the streaming platform.

According to Billboard, when a streaming service pays $1 in royalties, the rights holders make 73 cents, creators receive a little over 25 cents, and performance rights organizations (PRO) get a little over 1 cent. For recorded music revenue, the artist gets about 16 cents while the label takes about 64 cents. Regarding publishing, in a typical scenario, the songwriter and publisher each receive 9.4 cents.

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