Romeo Santos Reacts to Being the Only Latin Male Artist On Billboard's Money Makers List

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Justin Bettman
Romeo Santos photographed July 13 at Drift Studio in New York.

Romeo Santos, alongside Jennifer Lopez, is one of the only Latin artists to be recognized on Billboard’s Money Makers list. At $14.8 million, he’s one of the highest-paid musicians of 2018 -- just above Sam Smith, Keith Urban, and J.Lo. 

On Instagram, Santos expressed his joy with his 16.1 million fans. “It’s not about the money,” he said. “It’s about taking my genre around the world to different stages. After two decades, being the only Latin man on this list next to J.Lo fills me with lots of satisfaction. Long live bachata,” he notes, promising that what’s coming is stronger. 

The Dominican bachata crooner landed at No. 30 in the Top 40 list. Billboard reported: “Streaming’s popularity among Latin music fans helped generate 1.2 billion streams for Santos, compared with U.S. album sales of just 12,000 and 125,000 track downloads. His $12.6 million in U.S. touring income dwarfed everything else.” 

See Santos’ post below.

Methodology: Money Makers was compiled with 2018 U.S.-only Nielsen Music and Billboard Boxscore data. All revenue figures cited are Billboard estimates and, due to rounding, an artist’s total may not equal the sum of the subcategories. Revenue from merchandising, synchronization and sponsorship is not included. Unless otherwise noted, streaming totals consist of combined on-demand audio and video streams. Recording-career totals are the sum of an artist’s sales, streaming and publishing earnings. Revenue from featured-artist appearances is credited to the main artists, but other recording collaborations -- usually denoted as a “duet with,” “+” or “&” -- are generally split evenly by the artists. Touring revenue, after the manager’s cut, equals 34% of an act’s Boxscore, except in residencies, where it equals 60%. Sales royalties were calculated based on physical/digital albums and track sales. Streaming royalties consist of on-demand audio/video streams, plus estimated royalties from programmed webcasting, SiriusXM and Music Choice. The following royalty rates were used: album and track sales, 22% of retail revenue. On-demand streaming royalties were calculated using blended audio and video rates of, respectively, $0.0054 and $0.0016 per stream, applied against a 22% royalty rate for new hit artists, 37% for superstar artists, 50% for heritage artists and 78% for artists that own their masters. A subscription per-stream rate of $0.0019 -- blended to reflect the different statutory rates for ad-supported and subscription streams -- was applied to programmed streams, and per-play estimated rates of $0.74 and $30.00 were applied to Music Choice and SiriusXM plays, respectively. Publishing royalties were estimated using statutory mechanical rates for album and track sales. The Copyright Royalty Board streaming formula produced an average rate of 13.1% of streaming revenue, and the following per-play averages: hit radio, $2.50; heritage spins, $0.60; Music Choice, $0.40; SiriusXM, $8.33; programmed streams, $0.0003. Billboard estimated each artist’s songwriter’s share of the recorded music included in these calculations, and publishing royalties were calculated as co-publishing deals, giving the writer 75% of those royalties. A 10% manager’s fee was deducted from artist and publisher royalty pools. A 4% producer’s fee was deducted from each artist’s recorded-music royalty pool.


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