• 3 min read

Royalties on secondary sales are lauded as one of the top value-adds the NFT ecosystem offers digital artists. But how big are these royalty payouts? This week I looked into that question 👇

On SuperRare, September royalties for artists totalled $1.7M. A 10% decrease from the August all-time high of $1.9M and 83X last year’s September royalty total.

On SuperRare, 290 artists received a secondary sale royalty in September. The median payout was $978. The highest was $804k.

In September, 69% of SuperRare artists who received a royalty payment did not make a primary sale. Royalties were their only source of September SuperRare revenue.

On Foundation, September royalties for artists totalled 86k, a 5% increase from the previous month.

On Foundation, 139 artists received a secondary sale royalty in September. The median was $262. The highest was $6.1k.

In September, 32% of Foundation artists who received a royalty payment did not make a primary sale.

Context: It’s important to remember that nothing in the design of the ERC721 or ERC1155 NFT standards inherently lends itself to royalties. They had to be fought for.

Sparrow, Lawrence Lee, Matt Kane, Alotta Money, Skeenee, Josie, MLIBTY, hexiosis, XCOPY, Giant Swan, Shortcut (unityofmulti), Coldie, bard ionson, oficinasTK, Hackatao, Van, and GISEL X

In 2019, these creators pushed for the 10% minimum royalty that is now an industry standard.

Minimum 10% NFT Royalties - Letter to Platforms - Matt Kane
Dear partner platforms,

This is what ‘being early’ is really about. It's about acknowledging that we have a unique opportunity to shape the future of NFTs, and taking responsibility for demanding change where it is needed.

We stand at an inflection point. The masses are coming. The institutions are coming. The tech giants are coming.

The window of opportunity to make the NFT space better than what we had before is closing. It doesn't have to be fraught with rug pulls, ponzi schemes and horrendous drop mechanics. We can vote with our ETH and with our voices for a better future.

If we don't, if we waste the efforts of those early creators who built the platform we stand on now, then we don't deserve a utopian web3. Simple as that.


  1. This analysis only accounts for royalties from secondary sales that happened on the platform. So if an NFT was bought on Foundation and had a secondary sale on OpenSea it wouldn’t be accounted for here.
  2. Dollar values are based on the value of the cryptocurrency used in the sale at the time of sale.

A Guide to Designing Effective NFT Launches
Blockchains revolutionized fundraising for open-source software, but not everything worked right from the start. In fact, ICOs of the 2016-2018 era were often horribly broken mechanisms that allowed…

^ Essential reading on designing NFT drops to be fair and efficient.


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