Two things immediately sprang into my mind when I saw the headline flash where The Dream was stating in this interview that his take from the Rihanna track “Umbrella” was $15 million. My first reaction was really? Followed closely by a really?

Listen, the money in the music has always been with the writers and publishers contrary to what some idiot posted in the you tube comment section where he or she so eloquently stated that the performers of music have always made more than the writers. Not on this planet. I’m not privy to any information regarding The Dream’s publishing deal whether he’s self-published, co-publishes, has an admin deal or what. But what I do know is that he isn’t the only writer on the track. Now again without knowing the details of what the splits are between the co-writers I still can’t really say how much went where to whom etc., etc.,

Was “Umbrella” a mega-world worldwide hit? Absolutely. Did the song generate a lot of revenue? You better believe it! $15 million dollars worth of revenue for one writer out of four I don’t know… I’d have to do a little more math on that one. I think that’s why it’s important that when we hear statements like this one we consider what’s actually being said and by whom. If we can do a little research or if we can do a few calculations with the numbers we should be better able to have an informed opinion after doing such an exercise.

One day we will have a detailed post on revenue streams for songwriters and publishers here on GFM. It’s an interesting, yet complex business and often no two deals or outcomes are alike.

Ivan Orr is a multi-instrumentalist, composer, performer, and writer. A native of Charlottesville, Virginia Ivan was involved with the forming and nascent days of The Music Resource Center as its first Program Director. A graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University’s Department of Music, Ivan currently resides in Richmond, VA where he maintains an active performance and production schedule while serving as the Music Editor for Grown Folks Music, a position he has held since 2010.