The internet giveth, and the internet taketh away.
Thanks to fraction of a penny streaming rates and plummeting album sales it's now extraordinarily difficult for a musician to make a good living solely from sales of their music alone (not impossible, but damn close), but the digital world has also opened up new money channels previously unimaginable.
Case in point, as Facebook attempts to gain some traction with its new live streaming component, Facebook Live, the tech giant is signing multiple million dollar deals with media companies and personalities to use the app, ranging from Buzzfeed ($3.1 million) and the New York Times ($3 million) to Kevin Hart ($600,000) and Russell Wilson ($200,000).
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Notably, while the Wall Street Journal's list of Facebook Live's deals isn't complete, I don't see a single rapper included. The Metropolitan Museum of Art and internet celebrities like Logan Paul got deals, EDM and dance DJs like Armin Van Buuren got deals, but not a single artist from the most culturally influential and commercially successful genre in America? I'm sure Facebook just lost Drake's number.
Regardless, while this initial round of deals might prove to be more the exception than the rule, it does once again show that artists who run their art as a business and are flexible enough to adapt and be early adopters can end up making big money. The same way there are artists making major revenue just off YouTube, the same way Snapchat put DJ Khaled into a new tax bracket, the same way Instagram gave Plies a second career wave, two years from now I predict we'll be looking at a new generation of Facebook Live millionaires. Why couldn't young artists like Logic, Chance the Rapper, Kevin Gates and Bryson Tiller be making thousands, if not millions, streaming studio sessions for their fans? Why couldn't it be you?
By Nathan S, the managing editor of DJBooth and a hip-hop writer. His beard is awesome. This is his Twitter.