AWAL Says ‘Hundreds’ of Artists Earning Over $100,000/Year from Streaming

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photo: S K

Kobalt Music subsidiary AWAL has stated that “hundreds” of its artists earn more than $100,000 per year from streaming. A surprising number are also making “millions.”

AWAL recently revealed the noteworthy figure, which CEO Lonny Olinick and Kobalt chairman Willard Ahdritz elaborated upon. Though Olinick opted not to disclose the precise number of AWAL musicians whose annual streaming income exceeds $100k (nor any of the artists’ names), the Kobalt veteran indicated that the total count has jumped by over 40 percent during the last year.

Additionally, AWAL signaled that streaming puts at least $1 million in the pockets of “dozens” of its artists on a yearly basis. On the ‘lower’ end, the label services company relayed that yearly streaming royalties amount to $25,000+ for a substantial collection of AWAL acts.

Calculating for the high end of Spotify’s per-stream royalty rate, one-half of a penny ($.005), artists would have to generate 20,000,000 Spotify plays to earn $100,000 from streaming. Of course, by multiplying the desired income by 10 (for $1 million), one must also multiply the required streams by 10, to a sizable 200,000,000.

Rough estimates based upon some AWAL artists’ monthly Spotify streams to this point in August – 4,119,321 for Kim Petras and 7,535,460 for Finneas, brother and frequent collaborator of Billie Eilish – suggest that the cited streaming-income numbers are feasible. Of course, the quick analysis doesn’t account for revenue from other streaming services or for AWAL’s (reportedly low, compared to major labels) per-play cut. And needless to say, garnering 20,000,000 annual streams (and especially 200,000,000 plays) is hardly an easy task.

Late last week, Digital Music News was first to report that Kobalt Music Group had inked a licensing and promotional collaboration deal with Tencent Music. The “multiyear agreement” – which covers Kobalt’s approximately 600,000-track publishing catalog and the extensive body of recordings within AWAL – arrived in spite of the imminent stateside ban of Tencent-owned WeChat.

Separately, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has signaled that publicly traded, China-headquartered companies that fail to comply with U.S. accounting standards will be delisted from domestic stock exchanges.

In June, we provided an update on Eight Mile Style’s unpaid-royalties lawsuit against Spotify. The leading music streaming service is presently litigating against Kobalt Music Publishing, having named the entity as a third-party defendant in the suit. Spotify said, in part, that it had been “licensed by Eight Mile’s agent, Kobalt, to reproduce and distribute” the 243 Eminem tracks at the center of the case.

5 Responses

  1. Piss Off

    No names…
    All dead artists accounts
    Run by lawyers

    This Is The Greatest Art Theft In History

    We see you!!!
    artists the game now is:

    Out Wit
    Out Last
    Out Play

    You want to leak out these stories
    Because the old acts and genres are dead!
    They want to make it look good with these fraudulent articles
    Because they are going to be signing acts
    Don’t be stupid
    The entire industry is a Ponzi monopoly fraud…
    These are all middle men
    And the money is gone

    They are fighting over scraps
    Just Look at all the lawsuits

    Don’t fall for the propaganda
    Don’t sign
    Let them die

  2. Carlos Avila from GDN Records

    Hopping I could Talk to Mr. Dylan Smith to tell him about the opposite side of the story about this reportage, AWAL has not paid us our royalties at least since 2 months now and we are in a row of the third month, this note is a joke, how it is possible that we see this when they are crushing small labels like us, we need to pay credit cards Facebook ads, Google AdW campaigns for our artists from the royalties we deserve, our associates are very angry, they are recollecting our royalties from YouTube which before we received directly so we decided to use the “YouTube content protection ID” thru them, and now, no payments for ads, no royalties, no nothing, we do not exaggerate in saying that they are taking us down (for absurd that this sounds), they are taking us to bankruptcy and they only owe us humble shity $700.00 British pounds, this reportage is wrong. And a terrible lie

  3. The same before

    I can show the mails on how they just say until next month

  4. Johnny

    Hundreds of artists making $100k a year, what is that? 0.1%? 99.9% making nothing and mostly losing money. And maybe they should interview all these artists and have them confirm that they made $100K after the record companies, managers and agents all took out their percentages! Problem is most musicians never talk about the MONEY since they are all too embarrassed to inform the fans that they are mostly all POOR and barely able to pay their electric bills every month. I know a “famous” band who received $8000 to make a new album – cost to record and master the album was $10,000. Musicians made nothing and now they owe the studio $2000. Great industry to be in!

  5. PHak U

    I’ve read bad things about AWAL elsewhere. If you’re an American musician, emigrate to a different location, don’t copyright your work in the USA, don’t sign with an American label. The entire structure is a fleecing by the most oppressed race on earth, who can all f themselves. Buh Bye USA!