Oliver Anthony — the country crooner whose “Rich Men North of Richmond” hit a chord with blue-collar workers — is reportedly raking in $40,000 per day from his self-released hit after turning down an $8 million record deal.
The viral song — about a man who sells his soul “workin’ all day” while struggling under the weight of inflation, high taxes and so-called elitism — has rocketed to the top of music charts since it dropped Aug. 11.
Anthony’s resulting whopping windfall has been generated mainly from downloads on iTunes and streaming sites like Spotify, according to American music industry trade magazine Hits.
In its first week, “Rich Men North of Richmond” sold 147,000 downloads in its first week on iTunes — which pays up to 70 cents per download — amounting to roughly $102,000.
It’s unclear how much of the rest of $40,000 daily payout Anthony is making in royalties from streaming services like Spotify, which reportedly pays artists around 4 cents per stream.
The Virginia country boy’s tune has been streamed about 2 million times per day, according to data from streaming and audience data platform Chartmetric.
Ross Michaels, the co-president and founder of Park Avenue Artists, said Anthony’s song would have to be streamed about 10 million times per day for him to make $40,000.
“The general rule of thumb is that every million streams is about $5,000 if you own all the rights,” said Michaels, whose New York- based label reps the likes of Josh Bell and Grammy award-winning band Time for Three..
An artist usually only gets about 70% of those funds, though, Michaels said.
The other 30% goes to Spotify, though the “pro-rated pie is so deep now since there’s some 100,000 tracks being uploaded to Spotify everyday,” he added.
However, it’s plausible Anthony could be making $40,000 daily collectively from merchandising and other distribution sites like Bandcamp and Patreon, where artists “can dictate the price” of their work.
On his Bandcamp profile, Anthony sells tracks for $1 per download or stream. And on Patreon, fans can pay $1 or $3 monthly for early access to Anthony’s content, but it’s unclear how many downloads he’s sold on either of these platforms.
Billboard estimates Anthony’s total royalties from streamers has totaled around $350,000.
Anthony — who lives in a $750 camper he bought on Craigslist on a piece of property in Farmsville, Va., he paid $97,500 for — said he “brushed off” offers for as much as $8 million from record labels after “Rich Men” topped the iTunes and Spotify’s US Top 50 charts.
The song also came in ahead of Taylor Swift and Luke Combs on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart, placing No. 1.
Antony wrote in a recent Facebook post sharing his life story that he turned down a record label deal because “I don’t want 6 tour busses, 15 tractor trailers and a jet. I don’t want to play stadium shows, I don’t want to be in the spotlight.”
“I wrote the music I wrote because I was suffering with mental health and depression.”
“No editing, no agent, no bulls–t. Just some idiot and his guitar. The style of music that we should have never gotten away from in the first place.”
Michaels isn’t surprised that Anthony has been approached by record labels, and thinks that he can leverage his newfound stardom to negotiate a better deal.
The industry standard “is hard to quote,” Michaels said, “but there’s a lot of 50/50 deals out there” between artists and labels.
“He could probably negotiate [the money split] even further down where a record label will give him money up front to continue recording and an advance to go towards a marketing budget.”
There’s also times where artists are “offered a singles deal where you’re paid a ton of money for just a single and you can continue to be independent.”
The 31-year-old singer, meanwhile, dropped another blue-collar ballad on Wednesday.
Titled “I Want to Go Home,” the red-bearded artist’s latest track touches on war, religion and trees being torn down and replaced with “concrete growin’ around.”
“Son, we’re on the brink of the next world war and I don’t think nobody’s prayin’ no more,” Anthony sings in the new song, which has already garnered more than 1.4 million listens on Spotify.
His decision to bypass the corporate-run record labels and go it alone may turn out to be a wise move in the end.
“The fact that he went viral removes a lot of the benefits of having a record label, which would be promotion, marketing and distribution clout,” longtime musician Roger Street Friedman, who has self-released several albums, told The Post on Wednesday.
“He also seems like a guy who doesn’t necessarily trust ‘the man.’”