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Asap Rocky’s “Testing”, Spotify royalties, and why you need multiple revenue streams.

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This is being written out of a response to multiple things for me, that’s usually why I write these articles.

  1. A pretty notable producer offered me a portion of the publishing for every placement I helped him or her acquire.
  2. With rappers, I tend to see a lack of understanding that they are a business.
  3. Recently I saw on Twitter that an account that is focused on Rap music made a post saying “Congrats to Asap Rocky, his new album “Testing” just surpassed 100 million streams on Spotify”. Which is awesome and congrats to him but I was really curious about how much money 100 million streams is going to generate for Rocky and everyone involved, and how much 100 million streams in general would generate.

How much does 100 million streams generate in Spotify royalties?

In 2017 it was reported that Spotify was paying $.0038 per stream but in 2018 that has apparently increased to $.00397, which any increase is great. But if you do the math, 100 million x $.00397, only equals $397,000. That’s less than $400k in royalties and that’s before the label, producers, and whoever else get a slice of that. $397k probably doesn’t even recoup the cost for the album which is why I stress that you start thinking of multiple revenue streams whether you are a rapper or a producer.

Asap Rocky is an intelligent guy and at this point a vet in the game so he knows that he needs to have his hands in multiple pies. So not only will he be receiving royalties for his vocals and lyrics, but Rocky is also listed as a co producer on 9 out of the 15 tracks on the album meaning he will get a nice slice of the mechanical and publishing royalties doled out to the producers on the album.

However I wonder what kind of royalties will even be seen by the producers because for the most part the albums tracks are all co productions, with each track typically having 2 to 4 co producers. If you are a producer who only had one or two beats on the album, the royalties won’t be the greatest, but if your ASAP or Hector Delgado, who have 9 production credits, or Mario Loving, Nesbitt Wesong, FNZ who all have 4 credits, those couple pennies for each track will add up.

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Why you need  multiple revenue streams as a rapper?

Earlier this year Joey Badass made a post that went viral breaking down how he made roughly $1.3 million in the first 2 or 3 months of 2018. He broke it down as

  • 100k+ from features
  • 120k (front end) for an endorsement
  • 250k+ from ghostwriting
  • 300k from royalties
  • 500k from touring (I am sure that includes merch)

Obviously Asap Rocky does the same + more (modeling,acting) and he also got himself listed as a co producer 9 times on his album.

Publishing (from a producer’s perspective)

So like I said earlier, one of the reasons I wrote this, was because a producer offered me a portion of the publishing for every placement I help him acquire. If a placement is acquired and gets put on an album, I would be listed as one of the producers for that song. That’s awesome and I am pursuing this as we speak, however, with my amount only being 20% of publishing, even if the song is a hit and get streamed a lot my earning’s will be nice but they won’t break the bank. Here are some examples of what I, or you, could make as a co producer on a track that gets a lot of streams on Spotify.

  • 100,000 stream x $.00397 x 20% = $79.40
  • 1 Million streams x $.00397 x 20% = $794
  • 10 Million streams x $.00397 x 20% = $7,940
  • 100 Million streams x $.00397 x 20%=$79,400

In this day and age with most tracks seemingly having multiple producers, this is the reality, and I don’t think it’s a bad thing. Co producing can be away to get your hands into multiple “revenue streams” from your catalog. Some producer’s I know are fire at drums so producers come to them for the drums and now they have dozens of tracks in their catalog generating income simply for doing the drums, or for the melodies, etc.

The whole point of this article is to cement to you that if you are a rapper or a producer you should constantly be thinking about ways to generate money from your brand.

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