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‘Weird Al’ Yankovic Roasts Spotify’s Artist Payout System in Year-End Wrapped Video

“If I’m doing the math right that means I earned $12”

The holiday season is upon us again, which can only mean one thing: an onslaught of Spotify Wrapped posts on social media. But not everyone is a proponent of the streaming service, which is notoriously bad at paying musicians.

This year, many popular artists recorded videos for their top fans, including Taylor Swift, Bad Bunny, and “Weird Al” Yankovic. Yankovic had some choice words in his message, which was shared by amused fans on X, formerly Twitter.

It’s my understanding that I had over 80 million streams on Spotify this year,” Yankovic said in his video. “So, if I’m doing the math right that means I earned $12. Enough to get myself a nice sandwich at a restaurant.”

He added, “So from the bottom of my heart, thanks for your support and thanks for the sandwich.”

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Spotify recently announced an amendment to its system of paying royalties to musicians. The policy is intended to address the issue of artificial streaming, according to a press release, but will penalize smaller artists with less streams.

“Starting in early 2024, tracks must have reached at least 1,000 streams in the previous 12 months in order to generate recorded royalties,” Spotify confirmed. “There is no change to the size of the music royalty pool being paid out to rights holders from Spotify; we will simply use the tens of millions of dollars annually to increase the payments to all eligible tracks, rather than spreading it out into $0.03 payments.”

Earlier this week, Spotify unveiled its end-of-year Spotify Wrapped data, which placed Taylor Swift at the top of the list of the most-streamed artists both globally and in the United States. It marked the first time Swift has topped the year-end artist global chart in her career.

Worldwide, the singer tallied more than 26.1 billion streams, dethroning last year’s chart leader Bad Bunny, who landed in second place this year after finishing atop the chart the previous three years. Also making an appearance on the ranking is Lana Del Rey, who collaborated with Swift on Midnights‘ “Snow on the Beach” and released her album Did You Know There’s a Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd in March.

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