Since the music business transitioned from physical sales to streaming, artists have been voicing their frustration with how the system in place fails to pay their pockets.
Now, Snoop Dogg has joined in to address this major concern while he’s on the main stage.
During his appearance as a panelist at the 2023 Milken Institute Global Conference, the Hip-Hop legend took a moment to divert attention and talk about the state of streaming.
Snoop Dogg recalled that when he was coming up in the music industry in the ’90s, he and his peers sold hard copies. Now, artists are fending for themselves with streams when it comes to getting adequately paid.
“Can somebody explain to me how you get a billion streams and not get a million dollars?” Snoop Dogg asked during the conference. “That sh-t don’t make sense to me.”
He added, “That’s the main gripe with a lot of us artists is that we do major numbers with streams but it don’t add up to the money. Like, where the f-ck is the money?”
According to Business Insider, artists earn between $.0033 and $.0050 per stream on Spotify. What’s more, USA Today reported that Apple Music gives $0.01 per play, but that doesn’t all go to the artists. Record labels and distributors also get their piece.
Like Spotify, Apple’s streaming service also doesn’t pay artists per stream, but uses a system that pays based on “streamshare,” according Business Insider. The payout comes from the percentage of total streams an individual song has and varies based on agreements with licensors.
Snoop Dogg compared the streaming ordeal to the current TV writers’ strike and how they’re fighting for better pay that measures up to their work and efforts.
“I know I’m going off the script right now but f-ck it, this is business,” he said. “This is a room full of business people, and somebody may hear this and be able to do something about it so that the next artists don’t have to struggle or cry or try to figure out how to get to his money.”
As previously reported by AfroTech, Snoop Dogg acquired Death Row Records in 2022. At the label, the OG is helping the next generation of artists and aims to create a better future for them in the music industry.
He also used the momentum of the open discussion at the conference to share his thoughts on the trend of artificial intelligence (AI). Although Snoop Dogg still has questions about what it all means for the near future, he pondered whether it should be one of his next investments in his already extensive portfolio.