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‘Weird Al’ Yankovic’ Wrapped Video Blasts Spotify’s Artist Payout System: ‘Enough to Get Myself a Nice Sandwich’

The singer claimed his 80 million streams were worth a pastrami on rye, but not much else.

"Weird Al" Yankovic attends Vulture Festival 2023 Los Angeles at The Hollywood Roosevelt on Nov. 11, 2023 in Los Angeles.

"Weird Al" Yankovic attends Vulture Festival 2023 Los Angeles at The Hollywood Roosevelt on Nov. 11, 2023 in Los Angeles.

Michael Tullberg/Getty Images

While everyone else is busy sharing their Spotify Wrapped lists on their socials this week, “Weird Al” Yankovic took some time on Wednesday (Nov. 29) in his Wrapped video to share a different story. “It’s my understanding that I had over 80 million streams on Spotify this year,” Yankovic said in his clip. “So, if I’m doing the math right that means I earned $12. Enough to get myself a nice sandwich at a restaurant. So, from the bottom of my heart, thanks for your support, and thanks for the sandwich.”

The slam against the streaming service that has long drawn complaints for its modest pay-outs to musicians came after a recent announcement from Spotify about an update of its royalties payment system a press release said was intended to address streaming fraud. It said the new royalty model could be worth an additional $1 billion for emerging and established acts over the next five years.


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The controversial new model is expected to affect more than two-thirds of Spotify’s song catalog due to the magnitude of music uploaded to the platform on which the vast majority of songs don’t get very many clicks. While tens of millions of songs will fall below the 1,000 streams threshold and not qualify for royalties (those royalties will be redistributed to a greater royalty pool), a source told Billboard at the time that the new policy will only shift about 0.5% of Spotify’s royalty pool to more popular tracks; that was equal to around $46 million in royalties in 2022 out of a total of $9.27 billion paid out.

At press time spokespeople for Spotify and Yankovic had not returned Billboard‘s request for comment.

On Wednesday, Spotify announced its Wrapped list of the most streamed artists, songs, albums and podcasts of the year. To no one’s surprise, Taylor Swift topped the list of Spotify’s overall top artist, replacing the three-years-running reigning champ, Bad Bunny. The 12-time Grammy winner who also ruled the touring box office this year with her massive Eras Tour, ruled Spotify’s tally with 26.1 billion streams since Jan. 1, with her Midnights album the second-most streamed album around the world and her 2019 LP, Lover, coming in at No. 7.

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Check out a re-post of Al’s video below.

This article was first published by Billboard U.S.

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