Spotify has a new viral king. Wiz Khalifa’s “See You Again” set a record on Spotify for most plays in a day and a week in the U.S. The song was streamed 4.2 million times on April 13 and had hit 21.9 million streams in the week of April 6-12.
A collaboration with Charlie Puth, a 23-old-year New Jersey native who was discovered on YouTube, “See You Again “ is featured on the "Fast & Furious 7" soundtrack. The song plays during the new film’s final credits as a tribute to the franchise's late star Paul Walker, who died in 2013 during a break from filming. The track is also No. 1 on the Billboard charts for singles in the U.S. and Australia. The rankings now take into account digital downloads, radio songs and streaming songs.
Spotify, the streaming music service reportedly valued at over $8 billion, has been criticized by artists for not justly paying artists. The feedback prompted Spotify to launch a Spotify Artists website that explains the average payouts to rightsholders in December 2013. Payouts typically range from 0.6 cents to 0.84 cents. So for every million streams, an artist is paid between $6,000 and $8,400. At that rate, Khalifa could have made $210,000 from these record-breaking streams alone.
But artists are still frustrated with these figures, which are generally lower than what other services pay. Taylor Swift removed her albums from Spotify in 2014, and Jay Z has been promoting his own service, called Tidal.