By working directly with 101 Distribution, the Atlanta-based rapper and his 1017 Brick Squad label mates Chief Kief, Young Scooter, OJ Da Juiceman, Waka Flocka Flame, Frenchie, Whoo Da Kid and others will now keep 100% of all physical, digital, mobile and merchandise sales.
"I'm thankful that we were able to part ways on good terms with them (Warner)," Gucci states. "The music industry has changed so much and I just thought it was time to make the switch. The majors can't move as fast as doing it independent. We've got the fan base and now we have full control over every decision. I've already made more money with 101 than I ever saw on the back end with Warner. Nothing can compete with 100% payouts."
In addition to that, Gucci Mane will earn the world's highest single stream payout of $0.21 per play through Arena, an innovative streaming platform managed by 101 Distribution.
For most artists, streaming music and what it means to bottom line sales is still a bit of an anomaly. Every trend is showing exponential growth in usage among younger consumers; a clear indication that the desire to own the music listeners are adding to playlists is fast becoming an afterthought.
"This is nothing short of a paradigm shift," Damon Evans, Executive Director of 101 Distribution, says. "For the first time ever, the music industry is being manhandled by new services who have somehow convinced themselves that they are more important than the music and consumers who just don't understand that their favorite artists aren't able to sustain careers on the nominal payments they're getting from the music that's being streamed on today's most popular platforms."
Current laws regulating stream broadcasting permit services like Spotify and Pandora to pay only the legally required industry standard royalty rate of less than $.01 per track streamed. Although Spotify doesn't publicly comment on its payout structure, it's been widely reported from labels and artists alike that the company pays $0.005 per song play, earning the ire of groups including The Black Keys, Tool, Coldplay, and Adele.
"Arena was designed with the artist and label in mind," Evans states. "Being a fee based distributor that pays out 100% of all sales royalties to artists, it was a natural progression for 101 Distribution to create a platform that is completely free to access while making it possible for the per stream payout rate to scale upward the more the platform is used."
He continues, "Arena currently pays artists $.21 per stream for up to 3 total tracks per album which can be interchanged with other tracks from the same album. It's clear from the data were collecting that Arena's royalty rate is only going to increase. It doesn't matter what new services launch or how many new consumer features existing services add. Arena is the only fair solution."
Gucci Mane is taking a non-biased approach, but will put both services to the test as he makes his music available on Arena, Spotify, and other streaming platforms.
"We'll see how it goes. I have my music on Spotify. Let's see what it looks like when that check comes; half a penny with them or $.21 cents with Arena. It's just basic math. Arena is where it's at. Every artist will know soon enough"
The Trap God has spoken.