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The music industry has experienced an almost dismal descent many times in the past decade.

Illegal downloads saw the industry experience an unprecedented loss and as companies scrambled to find a way to make music profitable again, streaming arrived as its saving grace.

The monetization of YouTube, Spotify, Apple Music, and Pandora has been a saving grace to artists, who ultimately were left in the lurch by the industry’s downward spiral in the early ’00s. As far as solutions go, streaming has become a convenient means for consumers to attach to, but for artists, not so much.

Digital Music News reported that Spotify pays $0.00397 per stream, one of the worst payout amongst streaming services. “Pandora had the highest per-play royalty rate. At $0.01682 per play, an independent artist would need around 87,515 plays to earn the US monthly minimum wage of $1,472.”

However, artists are no longer relying on streaming as their only method to get that bread.

Photo: Alberto E. Rodriguez (Getty Images)

Vulture recently reported that whether someone’s an emerging artist or superstar, they all rely on similar streams of incomes. From paid social media posts and endorsement deals, to tour sponsorships and TV and film appearances, it is more lucrative to have a side hustle than just focus on the music.

Photo: WWD

While superstar performers are being offered $1k to $10k per paid social media post, emerging artists can demand $500 to $2k, a trend that has become apparent by everyone’s feeds for some time now.

However, there are million dollar deals emerging artists can’t rely on to fatten their bank accounts. Equity ownership of consumer product lines like makeup, perfumes, and apparel are saved for the upper echelon of stars, with the ability to rake in anything from $100k to $100 million.

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Kish Lal

Kish Lal is a pop culture critic based in New York.

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