We all know that streaming isn’t exactly the most profitable way for an artist to make money – but when you have a smash hit like Lil Uzi Vert’s “XO Tour Llif3,” which has accrued around 1.3 billion streams across all streaming platforms, you have to expect a big pay day.


And it’s true, according to an unnamed industry source, in a newly-published feature on Vulture entitled “How a Hit Happens Now,” “XO Tour Llif3” will earn Uzi’s labels roughly $4.5 million, from which Uzi will bank around $900k. That’s not chump change by any means. But when you look at the grand scale, things are a little different.

For the label cut, the song generates $0.00346 per stream. For Uzi’s cut, that number drops to around $0.00069231 per stream. That’s reeeeeeeally small.

Now extrapolate this to your average independent act or major label signee without a certified hit, and you’re looking at cents on the dollar for every hour put into production and musicianship.

Of course, streaming isn’t the only way to generate revenue as an artist, but it’s something that has become exceedingly important in an artist’s career (generating numbers on Spotify, that is).

DJ Booth concludes, “According to the article, Goldman Sachs is predicting that global revenue from music streaming will soar to $28 billion by 2030, but unless artists are able to negotiate a larger percentage, most of that money will still be failing to reach the actual creative forces behind that commercial surge in 13 years.”