Artist royalties have been at the forefront of the conversation about fair pay in recent months after several musicians aired grievances about their labels. Migos recently sued their lawyer after alleging they had been cheated out of millions in royalties and indie label Tiny Engines underwent a reckoning when several artists on their roster claimed they hadn’t been paid. Because of the discrepancy in payouts, many musicians are calling for clarity in the music industry — and Atlanta rapper Russ is no different.
In a move to prioritize transparency, Russ took to Twitter to share receipts that show how much he makes in a week from streaming services alone. The rapper shared results from two separate weeks, and it looks like he’s nearing $100,000 on average. Russ also called for artists to be aware that owning their own music is the first step to seeing a major payout from streaming revenue. “artists : own your music and stop letting these labels take 15% distribution fees for pressing an upload button,” he wrote.
some weekly checks on tunecore..inspo purposes only
artists : own your music and stop letting these labels take 15% distribution fees for pressing an upload button pic.twitter.com/eQHRRtXLdO
— RUSS (@russdiemon) November 9, 2020
Of course, not every artist is able to make six figures a week on streaming alone. Russ’ lesson on music ownership arrives when talk of streaming payout are also coming to a head. Spotify, which is oftentimes cited as the service which pays smaller artists the least amount per stream, recently announced they would be adding a new feature to their platform. The service will allow artists to promote their music in listeners’ algorithms — only if they agree to forfeit a percentage of their royalties.