According to the Recording Industry Association of America, digital music accounted for 64% of overall recorded music revenue in 2014. If those numbers hold up, it’s easy to see how breaking a Spotify streaming record with the release of his sophomore album became very lucrative for Kendrick Lamar.
Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp A Butterfly was reportedly streamed a record 9.6 million times on Spotify within the first 24 hours of the album’s release. One day later, the album was streamed 9.8 million times. While Spotify has come under fire for paying low royalty rates, HopesAndFears.com crunched the numbers, and Kendrick may still win with volume based on their calculations.
“According to Spotify (and calculations by Hopes&Fears), Lamar probably made between $921,600 and $1,290,240 in twenty-four hours,” wrote Mike Sheffield in a piece for Hopes&Fears. “Not quite the heydays of the CD-buying generation but it’s quite impressive for online streaming revenue.”
Spotify’s most recent royalty explanation states rights holders are paid an average “per stream” payout of between $0.006 and $0.0084. Royalty payments also vary based on the country in which an artist’s music is streamed, their individual royalty rate, and currency values in respective countries.
Additionally, Kendrick Lamar is enjoying another wave of critical success. To Pimp A Butterfly has an average Metacritic score of 95 out of a possible 100 as of Sunday. Both Billboard and HitsDailyDouble estimate roughly 350,000 copies of the album will be sold by the time SoundScan releases sales data on March 25.