Drake just signed perhaps one of the biggest record deals in music history with Universal Music Group.
The Canadian rapper has entered into a massive multi-million dollar deal with Universal Music group, which some insiders estimate to be around $360-400 million in what UMG’s Chairman Sir Lucian Grainge calls “an expansive, multi-faceted deal with the company that encompasses recordings, publishing, merchandise and visual media projects.”
The disclosure came from Sir Lucian Grainge while speaking at Universal Music’s Group Q1 earnings call.
Grainge disclosed that such “expanded portfolios,” span multiple creative lanes and revenue streams.
Drake had a deal with UMG that ended in 2021.
Meanwhile, there have been speculations about the amount Drake is walking away with, as Variety reported an industry insider saying it was “Lebron-sized.”
Others have tried to put the pieces together as they scrutinize the rapper’s lyrics where he referenced the deal. One of those lyrics is from “Lemon Pepper Freestyle” from his “Scary Hours 2” EP, where he said, “Three-sixty upfront, it all comes full circle,” possibly hinting that he received $360 million upfront from the deal.
In “The Remorse,” off of his last album, he also seems to reference that he has his masters as part of the deal, while in Migos’ “Having Our Way,” Drake raps about why billionaires see him in a different light.
The rapper is now one of the highest-paid in the industry and just one of two- joining The Weeknd in having such a deal with UMG to keep both artists under its umbrella.
Drake’s numbers are also impressive when it comes to album units and streams. He’s presently the most streamed artist so far this year, and Drake created streaming history when he became the first artist in history to surpass 50 billion combined streams on Spotify. The Canadian rapper’s earnings are estimated to be around $50 million annually or more, and the deal is expected to be approximately $400 million and climbing.
Meanwhile, UMG noted that the rapper’s free-agent status three years ago helped to put him in a strong bargaining position after his deal with Young Money/Cash Money ended.
One music expert noted, “Drake has the bargaining power to negotiate a net profit split with the best deal terms and a humongous advance upfront.”
In the meantime, UMG’s earnings for the first quarter of 2022 climbed 21.6% to €2.199 billion ($2.31 billion). Overall, music publishing revenue saw a record 32.5% growth, while merchandising revenue saw the biggest growth of a whopping 69.8% year-over-year. The company is traded on the Euro stock exchange and is expected to see continued growth holding two of the biggest artists in its portfolios.
Drake has consistently been the biggest rapper on the planet for most of the last decade, with the most streaming numbers across all platforms. He consistently repeated the numbers album after album.
In 2021, Drake was named the most-streamed artiste in the United States with 8.6 billion on-demand streams, according to Chart Data. He achieved this considering his latest album, Certified Lover Boy, arrived in the last quarter of the year, in September.
On its first day of release, CLB racked up 153 million global Spotify streams, breaking the record for the most-streamed album in one day. With this pulling power, Drake almost certainly had the upper hand in negotiating his record deals.