The Internet Is Debating If Mac DeMarco Is a Millionaire

It's five easy hot dogs, Michael. What could it cost, $1,000,000?

Photo: Kiera McNally

BY Megan LaPierrePublished May 4, 2023

"If I had a million dollars, I'd be rich!" the Barenaked Ladies famously declared in the bygone era of 1988. We all know that's not exactly true anymore (but it still seems like it's enough money to buy fancy ketchups for Five Easy Hotdogs) — yet, in the age of abysmal streaming payouts and inflation making touring a fiscal nightmare, we continue to be left in a little in the dark about the net worth of indie musicians like Mac DeMarco.

Whether or not this man in a hoodie is a millionaire has now become the topic of Twitter debate. It began yesterday (May 3) with a tweet from writer Danielle Chelosky, who wrote, "I realized just how clueless my friends are about the music industry when they said that Mac DeMarco is 'definitely a millionaire.'"
Although Chelosky added that she did some light fact-checking by skimming a Reddit thread on DeMarco's net worth, many people in the replies have argued that the clueless friends are right; the singer-songwriter is definitely a millionaire.

The first point of contention seems to be the fact that DeMarco owns a house in Silver Lake, which is almost certainly worth at least $1,000,000. But that's not necessarily money in the bank, per se.

"Can't put out an 8-hour album without having at least $1mil in the bank," musician color temperature pointed out of DeMarco's most recent release, the 199-song One Wayne G — with some agreeing and suggesting that albums costing $125,000 per hour of runtime to make as an industry standard. But wait! Weren't those DIY recordings made on a DAW? However, he is releasing cassettes and a vinyl pressing via his own label... so that mass-production element would definitely get expensive.

Despite not knowing DeMarco's masters-ownership situation, musician Dan Durley calculated that the number of streams on DeMarco's top five songs on Spotify alone — at a rate of somewhere between a $1,000 to $8,000 payout per million streams depending on other stakeholders (co-writers, labels, managers, etc.), let's say at the median of $4,000 — would be worth around $6.4 million.

That's not to mention what the singer-songwriter has made off of brand deals and partnerships, big festival bookings and plenty of years on the road raking in a lot more than performers are currently able to in what Lorde described as a "demented struggle to break even or face debt."

All of this considered, the point Chelosky was making remains important: most small-scale musicians are not getting paid enough! DeMarco is just probably not the best example, even though he dresses like that.

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