Drake’s music earns over $120K in streaming royalties a day.

Recently I have been doing a lot of research into streaming and the royalties/earnings it can generate for musicians. One of the reasons being is because I myself own the rights to a buzzing hit on the underground / internet hip hop scene. Using distrokid I have gained first hand access to information such as what the two major giants are currently paying per stream, on average Spotify is paying $.0030734967 per stream and Apple Music is paying $.0068986784 per stream.

Knowing this information and doing the math at how many streams it would take for the song I own to make me serious money I started wondering what artists like Drake are making from streaming. I know I am not the only one wondering this so that is why I made this article!

Key Drake streaming stats:

What are these stats worth? 

All the different streaming sites have different royalty rates that have changed over the years and for the most part they have gone down instead of up. At the same time streaming rates have been going down, in contrast, Drake’s popularity has been increasing, so I believe using the current rates I have been seeing on my distrokid account will be a fair average for Spotify ($.00307) and Apple ($.0068). For the other streaming sites that account for the other 27 Billion streams that Drake’s music has generated, I will use the rough average of .005 that other music analysts use.  Now that we have the rates lets answer how much money has Drake’s music been generating?

Apple Music

  • Drake has at least 10 Billion streams on Apple Music; which would generate $68.986784 million in earnings.
  • I was curious how much this meant Apple Music was paying out to Drake and his various labels a day. So I looked it up and found that the Apple Music app was officially released June 30, 2015 and they announced that Drake had been the first artist on their platform to hit 10 billion streams on July 19th, 2018.  That means it took Drake 1115 days, to hit 10 billion plays! $68.98674 million divided by 1115 days equals on average, earnings of $61, 871.51 a day!

Spotify

  • Drake’s 13 Billion streams on Spotify,  using the current rate of $.0030734967 per stream, should have generated at least $39.9554571 million.
  • Drakes first album was released June 15th, 2010 and the article stating he had at least 13 billion plays came out August 8, 2018. Thats 2,976 days to accumulate 13 billion plays / $39.9 million, which basically means Spotify is paying the Drake empire roughly $13, 425.89 a day.

Other streaming sites:

  • The article I read about Drake being the first artist to accumulate 50 billion streams was published on August 8, 2018. As the article states, 27 billion of these streams came from other sites besides Spotify and Apple Music. Well there are over 100 streaming sites and they all have different royalty rates but an industry average when doing calculations like this for earnings, is $.005. Which means those 27 billion plays should have generated roughly $135 million!!!
  • Using the same length of time that we did for Spotify, which was 2976 days since Drake dropped Thank Me Later. That’s $135 million divided by 2976 which equals out to $45, 362.90 a day!

TLDR; 

  • Drakes music generates around $120, 660.3 A DAY!  That’s over $5,000 an hour!
  • Drakes music has generated roughly $243.9 million in total streaming royalties from June 15, 2010 to August 8, 2018. I was curious so I looked it up and saw that it has been 69 days since the publishing/release of the announcement that he hit 50 billion plays. So I took the average amount his music is earning a day ($120,660.3) and multiplied it by 69 which equals out to $8,325,560.7. This means Drake’s music has generated over $250 million in total streaming earnings!

Finally:

I know a bunch of people are going to read this and be like “damn, Drake made a quarter billion off streaming! He’s making over $100k a day from streaming!” But no that really isn’t the case. That $250 million is being split up a whole bunch of ways;

  1. Universal Republic gets a 25% distribution fee.
  2. Aspire Music Group, Young Money, and Cash Money records all get a piece.
  3. Drake.
  4. Songwriters.
  5. Producers.
  6. Featured artists

Thats up to 8 different ways (including all labels) that the money is being split BEFORE taxes but at the end of the Drake is still making a huge amount of money from streaming daily. In general the point of this whole article is to show producers and rappers the power of streaming. Yes, you most likely won’t ever hit 50 billion streams but I know of plenty of quote on quote nobodies who have millions and/or tens of millions of streams and the whole point I am trying to make is that it stacks up.

Sidenote: I read an article recently about how Sting makes $2,000 a day from the song “I’ll be missing you” over 30 years after its release. Can you imagine how much “Drake” will be pulling in 30 years from now?

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

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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