The world’s highest-grossing rapper, Drake, reportedly topped another milestone on February 1st. He is the first artist whose songs have been streamed more than 75 billion times on Spotify.
.@Drake has now surpassed 75 billion streams on Spotify across all credits. He is the first artist in history to hit this milestone.
— chart data (@chartdata) February 1, 2023
On the occasion of this success, Aubrey Graham, as his real name is, turned to Spotify in an Instagram story and demanded that they should pay him and other artists bonuses for such successes. The story is no longer available, but screenshots exist. The Canadian used the official Spotify logo to design the slides and then criticized the group.
Spotify has neither confirmed the milestone nor responded to Drake’s demands. Specifically, he wrote that he needed a check the size of basketball player Lebron James because he already had enough dishes. This probably refers cynically to the number of awards in the form of records and plaques that he owns, which are just like plates to him. In addition, he not only alludes to the body measurements of the Lakers star, but also to the common practice in the USA of paying extra for extraordinary achievements by athletes.
Criticism of Spotify
Criticism of the streaming giant’s payment model is not new. But it is usually more concerned with the confusing percentage calculation model for the amount of payouts – instead of a simpler and supposedly fairer payment method per stream – and the exceptionally low amounts that can be charged per stream from the artist side. Spotify CEO Daniel Ek had already reacted to them in 2020 and asked artists to see the benefits generated for them by his platform. He’s also suggested simply releasing more music to stay relevant.
Drake has implicitly followed this formula of the Swede for a long time. Since 2015, the Canadian has released a total of thirteen solo and collaborative albums, EPs, mixtapes and a playlist of his own material. In 2022 alone, HONESTLY NEVERMIND, influenced by dance and house elements, and, together with trap great 21 Savage, the more classic rap album HER LOSS. During a show in New York in January, the Canadian also hinted that an album could also be released in 2023.
Indirectly, Drake even took up Ek’s demand in his statement and suggested the bonuses as incentives for artists to remain competitive and keep working. Overall, he’s not only one of the platform’s biggest artists, but also one of its top earners. He is estimated to have made over $50 million from streaming alone in 2021.
Drake and Spotify undoubtedly benefit from each other. His criticism does not call for a fundamentally fairer distribution of income, but rather bonus payments for those from whom Spotify makes the most profit.