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Kanye West’s First Independent Album Grossed Over $1M in Its First Week
Kanye West posted “NEW RECORDING AND PUBLISHING DEAL GUIDELINES” on Twitter, now X, in September 2020. He demanded artist-friendly income splits (80 percent for musicians) and simple contracts.
West said, “The artist owns the copyright in the recordings and songs and rents them to the record company / publisher for a limited term.”

He used this same model for his latest album, Vultures 1 with “Label Engine,” to secure streaming. This deal outside of the major label structure implies West and Ty Dolla $ign may be bringing home more than the 80 percent the rapper tweeted about in 2020.
Label Engine claims clients get 82.5 percent of income, but artists like West may likely increase that amount.
Vultures 1, which opened at number one on the Billboard 200, made a little over $1 million in its first week in the US, largely from streaming ($892,000 from close to 169 million on-demand streams) and sales of $145,000. If West and Ty Dolla $ign distribute 5 percent, which may be considerable, they take home $986,000 and even more with worldwide streams and publication.
  • What do you think of Kanye’s new model for distributing music?