There’s no denying that Harley Streten AKA Flume has taken the world by storm. Since the release of his debut album back in 2012, the young Australian music maker has skyrocketed to stardom, with countless singles, remixes, and collaborations in his wake. We’ve all heard a Flume track at this point; he’s got that ‘instant classic’ vibe down to the letter. It’s really no wonder that he’s been brought out for multiple international tours, headlined dozens of major festivals, and has inspired a whole new crop of bedroom producers.
However, for all the limelight and success he’s attained, the question looms: just how sustainable is his career? His music is fantastic, but in today’s free download and performance driven world, how much revenue can a 23-year old Aussie dance music sensation generate for himself and his label? While Streten maintains that he never expected to make any money at all from his music, it’s still quite intriguing to see where it all comes from.
According to a recent artist profile in the New York Times, the Flume project generated a stream of revenue in the low seven-figures last year.While live performances have become a major avenue of making money from music, his record sales are downright fantastic, making up a solid chunk of the overall profit. Though his debut album only sold 584 copies in the first week of its U.S. release, Streten’s records were bringing in roughly $76,000 a month for his American label, Mom + Pop, by the end of last year. These are insanely impressive figures for someone who built their following almost exclusively on Soundcloud.
So, what was it that turned him from an underground internet hit to international sensation? One word: exposure. Countless live performances and massively popular remixes catapulted Flume‘s name into the dance music arena. While remixes alone don’t necessarily rake in an appreciable amount of income, the diversity of the artists he chose to remix and the intoxicating appeal of his sound delivered him to audiences that would have been completely unaware of him otherwise. For instance, his remix of Lorde‘s track ‘Tennis Courts’ went viral almost immediately, quickly and easily gaining him mainstream exposure. Another example is his remix of Disclosure‘s smash hit ‘You & Me’, which was featured in a French Lacoste commercial; while he made no money from the commercial itself, it helped the track go viral and even resulted in a booking for him at Paris’ Rock en Seine festival. Thanks to publicity of this magnitude, a typical album release could have as many as 4,000 lines of sales data attached to it.
To sum it all up, we sincerely hope you enjoy the sultry sounds of Flume; he’s not going anywhere any time soon.