It’s no secret that streaming has not been the most beneficial arrangement for artists. From payouts that amount to a fraction of a fraction of a hundred to the pandemic making any income from live performances practically nonexistent, it’s abundantly clear that change needs to be made – but is the solution an almost defect music-sharing service from the 2000s? According to T-Pain, it just might be.
The rapper and autotune icon tweeted out an infographic that broke down how many streams of a given song it would take to make an artist $ 1, ranging from over a thousand plays needed on YouTube Music to surprisingly Napster of all places with just 53 streams required.
While it’s difficult to determine just how credible these numbers are, given that the infographic seems to be pulled from a Reddit post without any direct sources, the apparent fact that Napster is not only still around but the most financially beneficial streaming platform for artist came as a bit of a shock.
The reemergence of Napster in the streaming conversation in turn triggered a wave of Y2K nostalgia for those that vividly remember the days of waiting hours for Linkin Park MP3s over a dial-up connection.
The trip down memory lane also reminded people of the fact that Metallica was the first major group to sue Napster, triggering the first of many lawsuits that would eventually bankrupt the company and shut down the peer to peer file sharing service.
It remains to be seen whether or not T-Pain’s streaming revelation will result in an uptick in traffic for Napster or incentivize more artists to migrate over to the platform, but it would be a poetic full circle moment if the music industry’s salvation came from one of its biggest former bogeymen.
Photo via Getty / Mike FANOUS / Gamma-Rapho
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