A cover story by Billboard about Travis Scott's Astronomical tour in Fortnite and the future of the virtual music business on Friday reported the artist could have earned up to a half-million-dollar fee for the collaboration that was seen by 45.8 million people.
Music industry sources told Billboard an artist's fee for such a performance could be between $50,000 to $350,000 for a performance in a video game, with Travis Scott potentially commanding half a million.
Fortnite developer Epic Games did not respond to a request for comment on payment to Scott for Astronomical.
"Whether it was the gaming community or people that don't even play games, there was definitely a sense of, 'People around the world right now are locked in and focused,'" Scott told Billboard. "I watched it, and I raged out till I passed out. I'd do it again for sure. That was just level one."
The story noted that a total of 45.8 million views in game for the event, including replays. The performance posted on Travis Scott's official YouTube channel has exceeded 77 million views. On Twitch, the official stream for the premiere reached an average minute audience of 2.3 million, according to Nielsen SuperData.
During the 10-minute performance, a gigantic virtual avatar of Travis Scott wore Air Jordan sneakers as well; the article noted that Nielsen Esports estimated a brand exposure benefit for Nike of at least $518,000. There was also a conservative estimate made on skins that were made available for purchase around the event: If only the lowest-priced skin were to be for sale, at a 3% engagement rate, that would have generated at least $12.5 million in sales (with $2.5 million going to Travis Scott based on a 20% industry standard cut).
Fortnite star Tyler "Ninja" Blevins was also interviewed for the story, and noted the success of the collaboration.
"Name any band that you would think somebody wouldn't download Fortnite for," Ninja said. "If they provide some sort of new, cool moment, song or announcement, and you're a die-hard fan of this band or artist, are you telling me that you're not going to download a free game and attend a concert live?"