Weird Al Yankovic Criticizes What Spotify Pays Artists in Message on Spotify
It's that time of year when Spotify reveals their annual statistics from the last year of streaming music. Among the artists sharing their thanks to their fandom for the support was parody king Weird Al Yankovic, who used the platform to not only thank his fans but to take a jab at what the streaming giant pays artists in the process.
In his video shared through Spotify and relayed on other social media by a fan, Yankovic noted, "I'll make this really quick. I just want to thank you all for your amazing support."
He continued, "It's my understanding that I had over 80 million streams on Spotify this year. So if I'm doing the math right, that means I earned ... $12."
The musician then humorously added, "So you know it's enough that I can get a nice sandwich at a restaurant. So from the bottom of my heart, thanks for your support ... and thanks for the sandwich."
In a January 2023 article, Ditto Music reported that the streaming giant paid artists between $.003 and $.005 per stream on average. That works out as an approximate revenue split of 70/30 - 70 percent to the artist/rights holders and 30 percent to Spotify.
In October, Music Business Worldwide reported that Spotify would be employing rules that will dictate that a track's annual streams must meet a minimum threshold to generate royalties. There will also be financial penalties for record labels who attempt to game the system with fraudulent activity on tracks. Plus, a new minimum play-time requirement will be implemented on non-music and noise tracks.
The changes come from conversations that have been going on between Spotify and the three major labels — Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment and Warner Music Group — as well as other labels and distributors, sources say.
But while Spotify and the labels say these changes will stop fraud, what it looks like it will mean for small artists attempting to get their music heard on Spotify is that they will be paid even less than they were bringing in before.
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Gallery Credit: Joe DiVita