It’s Official: Apple Is Paying $0.002 Per Free Trial Stream…


The following is another Digital Music News exclusive.  Once again, you read it here first.

On Tuesday, sources to Digital Music News pointed to a per-stream royalty rate of $0.002, or 1/5th of a penny, on Apple’s free trial period.  Now, we have absolute verification on that figure from the updated contract itself, leaked exclusively to Digital Music News.


But wait! It looks like artists are still getting zero royalties on ‘comp accounts,’ which includes accounts handed to execs within Apple, partners labels, high-level friends, and journalists…



Now before we jump into the discussion, I’d like to extend my warm gratitude to the Wall Street Journal, Re/Code, Hypebot, Billboard, and about ten other ‘publications’ in advance for stealing details from this article and not crediting us, and generally lacking anything substantive in the gonadal region.  Love, Paul. 


Image by DieselDemon, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic.  Written while listening to in.deed on Soundcloud.

23 Responses

  1. Holy Fuck

    Holy Fuck. Unreal how artists have given up.

    Dear Artists,

    Take to the streets. Issue takedown notices to on-demand streaming.

    Wake the fuck up.

    PS — sorry for all the fucks.

    Holy Fuck

    • Outraged

      Please take a few minutes to create a form letter and email it to every representative and senator you can, as this is an issue which affects all states within the union. In-advance thanks. Some items you might want to include, in your own words, in your e-mailed recommendations:

      Songwriters and music creators need partial withdrawal rights.

      Establishment of real transparency, specifically pertaining to all large entities within the industry, is needed.

      Removal of the artificial percentage-mandates to all the parties within each of the roughly 66 music licenses, and allowing Free or Open market approaches/ mechanisms into the industry to normalize it.

      Removal of anti-trust/anti-compete allowances for large entities.

      Removal of gross limits or impediments on creators’ capacity to manage and negotiate their own rights, therefore case-by-case dealing for any creator co-ordinated misconduct.

  2. Anonymous

    So what do you want?

    $0.002 or $0.7 per download?

    Decisions, decisions…

      • Anonymous

        Independent artists do have two options if they use aggregators like Tunecore or Distrokid:

        1) Apple Music (pays $0.002 per download).
        2) iTunes (pays $0.7 per download).

  3. Roger Bixley

    Really, Paul? You’re calling out other websites for not giving proper citations to DMN when Nina Ulloa does the same exact thing multiple times a day? You got brass ones, Paulie. Get your own house in order.

  4. Jaed_yyz

    I don’t get it! Artists get paid what they bargain collectively through their labels. So what’s there to be upset about! Can I get some of you to write an article about how much I get paid?

    • blasjacket

      Please point out a collective bargaining agreement the artists have made with their labels?

  5. Jaed_yyz

    I don’t get it! Artists get paid what they bargain collectively through their labels. So what’s there to be upset about! Can I get some of you to write an article about how much I get paid?

  6. Amyt

    Streaming is the only way forward because consumers love it. And no matter who pulls their music off of streaming, there’d be enough music there and enough artists who would just look at it as a loss leader. And I do feel that more ad dollar will shift to digital, making ad supported payouts slightly better over the next few years.

    • superduper

      Lol just because consumers love it doesn’t mean it’s a good business model. Consumers loved piracy and would anybody say that’s a good way forward? The thing is it can’t be good for consumers but bad for business, like what streaming is.

      • Anonymous

        “The thing is it can’t be good for consumers but bad for business”

        That is where tech companies fall over when dealing with the entertainment industries: unlike other consumer-oriented sites (FB, Twitter, etc), sites built on professional content have suppliers on whom they are completely dependent – so it’s not enough to make only the consumers happy. They somehow still haven’t worked out that sites built on professional content need to care about their suppliers at least as much as they care about consumers.

      • Amyt

        It’s bad for artists currently, yes. But it’s not bad for industry. The overall recorded music revenue will remain where they are and even increase as ad dollars keep moving to digital. This is good for labels with big and popular catalogs. Of course, what would trickle down to artists would be small.

        If you really want artists to actually be able to make money and have control over where their music is and is not, you need artists to not sign to labels.

        • Faza (TCM)

          Sorry, but no.

          Revenues will continue to decrease, because consumers will be spending less. Even a fully paid subscriprion pays for the equivalent of twelve album downloads – or a hundred and twenty single download sales. A streaming subscriber tends to consume far more music than they pay for. Ad-supported streams are worth far less, because advertisers want the best bang for their buck and simply won’t pay above a given budget, no matter the size of the audience.

          It is likely that the revenue drops resulting from streaming substitution will floor out eventually: if only because of the specific format preferences of a small subset of die-hards (think vinyl). However, the revenue gains from streaming also have a hard ceiling, resulting from a fixed price per consumer, regardless of quantity consumed. In short: once everyone’s signed up for streaming, you’re not getting any more money. Possible subscription revenue is capped at potential streaming population times price per subscription – which in itself bodes ill, once competing services begin a price war, because that’s the only way to grow your subscriber base (unless you’re willing to wait for today’s children to grow up).

          The supply of recordings, on the other hand, is subject to no such caps, meaning you’ll get an ever growing body of music competing for a fixed pool of money. You’re right in that some major aggregators might have a go of it, simply by virtue of controlling major portions of the market (and thus being able to monetize all songs comprising this market share), but every single artist – especially one not signed to a label – will be progressively worse off (label-backed acts may be able to leverage label-provided marketing budgets to secure other sources of revenue).

          • There is something...

            How many albums / single songs an average consumer buy every year ? Something around 2 albums / year… in the ’90 ! Now it’s less… So if Apple Music is able to drive a portion of their casual listeners to their service, it could mean a lot more money spent every year…

            Now for hardcore fans, it’s still possible to keep them buying albums, but you’ll have to give them more than “just” music. Artist will need to think about appealing “collector edition”. It works quite well in Japan, it works in the movie business, it should work in the music business. Of course, those “collector edition” will need more than a couple crappy remix tracks. Time to be creative !

          • superduper

            I think you may be missing something. Yes, more people may spend more money in total, but it’s not the gross total, it’s the net total per captia that is more important. Remember, AGAIN, nobody buys individual artists work under this system. Everything is shared because everything is included in the price, and there is absolutely no way that will ever change, despite what some people may say. It will ALWAYS be an average, it will ALWAYS be split between ALL artists, no matter what. Unlike downloading a song, or buying a CD, in which you pay the rights holders in full for the music, you are given access to virtually every artist to ever exist for an extremely cheap (relatively speaking) price for what you are getting. I would agree with Faza on this.

    • Sarah

      I agree that more ad spend will go into digital – but disagree that it will result in better outcomes for the typical artist (or independent label).

      The increase in demand (ad dollars) will likely be exceeded by the increase in supply (digital content that monetizes through ads). That change might benefit the larger players (e.g., major labels) and it will certainly benefit platforms like Google, but it probably won’t pass through in a meaningful way to the rest.

      • Amyt

        I said the same thing, so I guess you assumed I was talking about this meaning more money for artists. I clarified this in my reply to “superduper” 🙂

  7. Lyle David Pierce III

    I have neither agreed or acquiesced to the proposed iTunes, Apple Music or Beats 1 contract nor have I, including, but not limited to, stipulated, agreed or consented to any of its terms whatsoever. End of discussion.

  8. Jess Claque

    Can you please release the entire contract? Specifically, did they keep Exhibit G which previously stated that no royalites will be paid on tracks if streamed by an iCloud user.


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