Its a new era in music. I have been saying this and I will continue to say this.
See in this new decade, one can make a steady living off of music without ever even coming close to signing a record deal or even being on a labels radar. One can also, hypothetically, set up a nest egg for themselves or earn a steady source of income, if they were able to put out some music that was popular enough to continue getting streams.
And before you go saying “well of course a one hit wonder can definitely live the rest of there life off of the royalties they make, nothing about that is new. ” Ok yes, but what about the artists who never achieved radio airplay? or any semblance of mainstream success?
That’s why today I want to talk about Samsa.
Samsa is a former rap artist that I think the majority of you, at least my readers on curatedflame.com, will never have heard of. A little background info is that he is a Pakistani Muslim rapper who first started to gain attention in 2017 making LoFi Hip Hop peppered with some of the most intelligent yet relateable lyrics I have ever heard. Eventually though Samsa, would also retire from Hip Hop the same year he started to create a buzz and on top of that, no one even knew what he looked like. Hell, he never even released an album.
However! Even though Samsa never achieved mainstream success and even though he has a sparse catalog of 5 songs on Spotify, whoever the dude is, he is caking up off of his music, even three years later.
Just from those 5 songs alone he has accumulated 46, 655, 053 plays since 2017. I myself, didn’t even hear about this Samsa guy until sometime in 2019 and only because Spotify had it on my personalized discover weekly playlist. I say this because it is important to note, I didn’t find his music until 2 years after he had a minor online buzz, which shows his music definitely has legs and will continue to rack up streams.
Lets look at what 46.6 million plays on Spotify generate in terms of revenue. Using several Spotify royalty calculators online and my own experience with Spotify streaming payments, I would safely say that those streams have generated no less then $186,000 to no more then $190,000 in streaming royalties. Now we do not have the streaming info for his music on Apple Music, Deezer, and the other streaming services. However, I can say that in my experience, Apple pays out almost 20% more and with almost half the streams needed. But let’s just be safe and say the streaming payouts were the same for Apple because we don’t know how many plays he’s getting on there, that’s still an estimated total of $372,000 to $380,000 just from Apple and Spotify streams.
Now not all of that money is going to go to Samsa of course and I looked into it, and I see that all of Samsa’s tracks are produced by different producers, and if we use the somewhat standard (rapper)80%/20%(producer) deal, that means Samsa has earned at least $297,600 to $304,000 in streaming royalties.
So the next time I hear someone say music doesn’t pay, I am just going to laugh and say “OK”.