Rapper Snoop Dogg didn’t hold back his thoughts on the current state of streaming models during a panel discussion at the Milken Institute’s Global Conference. He expressed his frustration over the Writers Guild of America’s strike over compensation, which he believes should serve as a wake-up call for artists to fight for fair payment.
Find out why Snoop Dogg is calling for a massive strike that could shake the foundations of the industry!
Snoop was particularly baffled by how artists could earn billions of streams but only receive a fraction of the earnings. “Somebody explain to me how you can get a billion streams and not get a million dollars?” he exclaimed. “That’s the main gripe with a lot of us artists…it don’t add up to the money. Like where the fuck is the money?”
The conversation, which included Shirley Halperin, Variety’s executive music editor and Larry Jackson, Snoop’s co-panelist and business partner, also touched on Gamma’s investment in Vydia, its digital distribution arm that has made significant inroads in Africa. Sipho Dlamini, former CEO of Universal Music South Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa, has been appointed as Gamma’s new president of the regions, while Naomi Campbell has been named special advisor of Africa and the Middle East.
Snoop has a personal stake in Gamma through an exclusive agreement to market and distribute the Death Row Records catalog. Jackson touted Gamma’s financial analytics dashboard, which allows for monthly payouts to artists. Something he said is “revolutionary” in the music industry.
But Jackson also raised concerns about royalty rates and streams on YouTube Shorts. Despite Gamma’s 5 billion monthly streams across all platforms, only $16,000 was generated from 500 million YouTube Shorts streams. Snoop didn’t mince his words, calling out YouTube to “break bread or fake dead.”
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The discussion also turned to the potential of artificial intelligence and music, with Jackson highlighting the usefulness of predictive data insights. However, he acknowledged the limitations of traditional digital service providers (DSPs) in providing this information.
Aside from music, Snoop gave a sneak peek into his upcoming screen projects, including his role in MGM and Amazon’s sports comedy film “The Underdoggs,” as well as his biopic with Universal Pictures. He also hinted at a new unscripted entertainment venture.