Never, ever underestimate the power of the internet. After news broke Monday about Nelly’s reported $2.4 million IRS debt, fans quickly mobilized on Twitter around the #SaveNelly hashtag. Even late night show hosts Stephen Colbert and James Corden joined the campaign and gave it a major boost. After crunching streaming numbers at the start of the movement, Spin has followed up with Spotify to find out if it has been a success. While there is no raw data about exactly how many times Nelly’s songs were streamed, the service was able to share that plays of his music have tripled in the U.S. during Spotify’s peak streaming hours from 2-6 p.m., and there’s a similar boost throughout the day as well. Streams are also increasing slightly day to day.
At the start of the campaign, Spin calculated it would take between 300 million and 400 million Spotify streams to earn Nelly enough money to pay off his debt, depending on his place on the royalty payout spectrum. Considering the St. Lunatic’s Country Grammar recently became the eighth rap album to be certified diamond, Nelly’s probably on the high end of the spectrum.
Spotify can’t give out play counts without the artist’s permission, so there’s no way of knowing how far along the movement has come, but obviously there’s been some major headway made during the past few days. In case you do want to join — and why wouldn’t you? — make sure to play the song of your choosing for at least 30 seconds and don’t mute the Spotify player, or the stream won’t be counted.