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 cent 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.
Napster being the highest paying platform is some serious M. Night Shyamalan shithttps://twitter.com/TPAIN/status/1476032631255060490\u00a0\u2026— \ud83c\udf84Christmas Penguin Johnny Danger\u2744 (@\ud83c\udf84Christmas Penguin Johnny Danger\u2744) 1640795004
Napster: from the music industry's bad guys in the 2000's to paying artists more than any other streaming service in 2021...pic.twitter.com/e2vD9aOyVC— SportzStew \u24cb (@SportzStew \u24cb) 1640793357
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.
#napster is trending and if you didn't download "Everything in its Right Place" on your desktop over dial up then you can't call yourself a Millennial— Ana Go\u00f1i-Lessan (@Ana Go\u00f1i-Lessan) 1640799534
If you didn't use one of these devices to listen to all the music you stole from Napster, you can't sit with us.\n#90sEphemerapic.twitter.com/nUmEbThD3h— \ud83d\udc9b\ud83d\udc1dEbony Edwards-Ellis\ud83d\udc9b\ud83d\udc1d (@\ud83d\udc9b\ud83d\udc1dEbony Edwards-Ellis\ud83d\udc9b\ud83d\udc1d) 1640121000
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.
as the day will continue the "fuck lars ulrich" posts will continue to flood in, some people will be mad about napster, some people will be mad because lars is a dogshit drummer, but everybody will agree fuck lars ulrichhttps://twitter.com/MonstersOfRock/status/1475137196608864263\u00a0\u2026— there's only one DJ helix (@there's only one DJ helix) 1640783977
Am I the only one who has never forgiven this motherfucker for Napster?https://twitter.com/monstersofrock/status/1475137196608864263\u00a0\u2026— Beanie \ud83d\uddd1\ud83d\udc3c\ud83e\udd54\ud83d\udc31 (@Beanie \ud83d\uddd1\ud83d\udc3c\ud83e\udd54\ud83d\udc31) 1640535991
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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