Publishing and Simple Math With Ryan Lelsie

tlp magazine

Ryan Leslie is the guest @Hot97 radio where he shares some knowledge gems and explains simple math behind publishing. After he graduated from Harvard Ryan Leslie locked himself up with some keyboards only to return disrupting the whole music industry.

As highly respected and sought-after producer he hit the headlines offering a million dollar reward for the one who retreived his strolen laptop. At the same time he released “Black Mozart” a full 25 minute documentary of the studio recordings.

Ebro and friends did a great job to make this interview a classic. Maybe not in terms of hits, but definitely in knowledge. At the time of recording the laptop incident is still an undisclosed case.

Does Ryan Leslie Have a Million Dollar?

It’s true. Ryan Leslie has made his mill, with ease. And it shows With some pretty basic math. More interesting is that you can hit big numbers with a small audience.

Me & You sold more than 650.000 copies and R.Les owns 100% of the publishing rights. This already makes him a millionair. In addition the single Me & You has streamed +600.000 times. This brings in about $4 per stream.

With the Me & You deal Ryan got paid upfront and the corresponding back-end royalties. Then, he also has his catalogue comprising his other hits. Every other song you hear Ryan Lesly he gets paid.

Ebro puts is nice. Some artist with bigger hits have less money. But that’s all about how you spend it.

The Math Behind Publishing

Monetizing YouTube has become less lucrative these days. YouTube gives you $1 dollar for every¬†1.000 streams. Generating¬†500.000 streams gives $500 dollar check. iTunes takes 30% and doesn’t do promo and doesn’t give you any information about the buyer.

Conversely, you can also convince 500 people to give 10 dollars to stream a movie, which he has done already. This comes down to $5.000 dollars on 500 streams versus $500 dollars on 500.000 streams YouTube streams.

Ryan says you can capitalize with tiny numbers. He shares a case study of an artist with 400 twitter follower, 150 instagram followers and 150 youtube subscribers. He ran a campaign and conversed in about 6 weeks.

What Can You Do?

Ryan shows that with a select audience and selling directly to them you can become your own profitable brand. Tiny numbers imply a niche market. Reach out directly and cultivate your fan base the right way. Because in the end all that matters is that you have fans.

Still, you have to put in the work. If you don’t want to do that get in contact with the right people and pay your percentage.


"Stop chasing your dreams. Start building them." Don't worry about what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive and go do that. Because what the worlds needs is people who have come alive. Can't wait to drive my own Model S P100D.
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