No song has streamed more on YouTube than Luis Fonsi’s “Despacito.” Add in the Justin Biber remix and the total number of views is five billion–and there are only 1.5 billion users on YouTube, which tells you that people have been going back to watch the videos again and again. And we haven’t even begun to include streams on Spotify, Apple Music, Google and all the rest of them.
So how much dosh has been generated by all these streams? Finding an exact figure is difficult, but we can make some estimates–and the numbers may surprise you.
The highest level of Spotify payments is $0.008 per stream, which gives us a total in excess of $37 million. Which, of course, sounds awesome.
But the truth is that the actual figure is a lot lower because most “Despacito” streams have been on YouTube and its payouts are the lowest.
It gets weirder when we look at how many of these streams went to Latin countries like Brazil and Mexico, the second and third biggest streaming markets in the world. Payouts from those countries are lower than the high-end Spotify rate, thanks to the fact that so many use the free tiers and are not paying subscribers. And then there’s the lower YouTube payments on top of that.
The one thing we haven’t considered is what the song earned from radio airplay and royalties from video play on TV. Those cheques would be reasonably substantial, too.
Bottom like is that Fonsi isn’t hurting. He’s getting an eight-figure payout for just one song.