Article by The Western Courier
In April 2016, legendary musician Prince died of a fentanyl overdose. He left behind some 39 studio albums including over 100 singles. Rolling Stone Magazine, in 2004, named Prince as the 27th greatest artist on its “100 Greatest Artists” list. That same year, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He’s sold over 100 million records worldwide, joining the ranks Kanye West, The Beatles, Lady Gaga and many more as one of the best-selling artists of all time. And, until Feb. 15 of this year, nearly all his music wasn’t available on popular music streaming services like Spotify, Apple Music or even YouTube.
For the unaware — when Spotify was gaining popularity and acceptance by the music industry in 2011 — Prince continually railed against the concept of his music being available online for free. It wasn’t until July 2015, though, that Prince officially asked his record publisher to remove his music catalog.
In a series of social media posts in 2015, Prince quoted a Daily Beast article explaining his reasoning. “Essentially, streaming has offered labels the ability to pay themselves twice while reducing what is owed to artists from pennies on the dollar to fractions of pennies on the dollar,” Teo Bugbee wrote for The Daily Beast.
Bugbee, Prince and analytics aaree. According to The Verge, an American technology news and media network owned by Vox Media, Spotify gives artists between $0.006 and $0.0084 per average stream. Of course, there are irregularities in which an artist would be paid more based on other factors like country of origin and country streaming.
For artists like Drake and Justin Bieber, who enjoy popularity and billions of streams, received some serious earnings in 2016. Drake’s “One Dance,” one of the most popular songs of 2016, which was streamed over 1 billion times, earned him over $6 million.
Artists who enjoy mainstream popularity can sleep soundly knowing their work is being appreciated and that they are being compensated. But what about the artists who rarely make it past state or local recognition?