Snoop Dogg went off-script and confronted music executives in an exchange at a business conference by criticizing the stingy digital music streaming payment scheme, and expressing support for the striking TV workers. The rapper, whose real name is Calvin Broadus, veered off topic while participating in a panel discussion about music and artificial intelligence. Former Apple music creative director Larry Jackson questioned why music-streaming services pay artists so little during an interview, adding that TV writers also deserved better.
According to Billboard, for every $1 that a song earns through streaming, the artist receives around $0.16. Larger artists may be able to negotiate a greater cut depending on the agreements record companies make with different streaming services. However, it might be challenging to make money from streaming, particularly for smaller artists who claim they already struggle to do so. Spotify, for instance, pays between $.003 and $.005 for each stream.
Snoop backed TV writers with this justification. 10 000 writers in The Writer’s Guild of America went on strike in protest of the almost nonexistent royalties due to streaming and they demanded higher remuneration. Snoop informed the audience that rather than vague streaming standards, box office revenues were a clearer criterion to be rewarded by.
“I just want to talk about the fact that it’s not currently working for the artist. That’s messed up, he declared. The writers are on strike because they can’t get paid”.
Representatives of Snoop Dogg and the Milken Institute however did not answer immediately. Insider reached out to Apple Music and Spotify for comments.