Major Labels

2019’s Biggest Streaming Earners (So Far)

2While streaming is often maligned for the reduced amount of revenue it generates for artists, those musicians at the top of the pile are pulling down far more than you might have guessed. Here we look at streaming's five biggest money makers of 2019 thus far.


Guest post by Bobby Owsinski of Music 3.0

It’s really easy to think that even the big music star streaming earners aren’t making that much, but they’re making more than you might think. That said, everything now is on a different scale than in the music business of yesterday.

For one thing, a million streams or views no longer means much. You need 10 million or so before it gets anyone’s attention, and a minor hit is now around 50 million. A hit is in the hundreds of millions, and a major global hit is over a billion. With that in mind, here are the 5 biggest streaming earners this year so far, according to Billboard.

Total label streaming revenue YTD: $12.08M
Total audio and video on-demand streams YTD: 2.83B

Total label streaming revenue YTD: $11.29M
Total audio and video on-demand streams YTD: 2.58B

Total label streaming revenue YTD: $10.90M
Total audio and video on-demand streams YTD: 2.63B

Total label streaming revenue YTD: $8.38M
Total audio and video on-demand streams YTD: 1.92B

Total label streaming revenue YTD: $7.93M
Total audio and video on-demand streams YTD: 1.89B

Take notice that both the audio and the video streams are combined, although there’s far more money generated via audio streams. Also keep in mind that this only covers the sound recording royalty that the record label collects and doesn’t include publishing.

Billboard’s estimates are based on Nielsen Music data and other information as of the week ending April 18, so they’re basically a month behind.

The takeaway here isn’t so much about the money that’s being made but the number of streams. All of these top streaming earners are near or over the 2 billion mark with 8 months in the year still to go. It’s starting to look like a billion isn’t what it used to be.

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  1. How does that compare to album sales revenues for the top 10 in say the first 2 quarters of 1999?

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