Help: My Google Play Royalties Dropped 99%!

Empty Pocket

Over the past year, Digital Music News has been reporting and posting on streaming royalty statements that we receive from managers, artists, and even labels.  And of course, we always protect confidentiality as needed.  Thanks to several user tips, we’ve been able to publish payout details from almost every streaming service.  The strange statements included bizarre multi-dollar per-stream payouts from Microsoft Groove, not to mention obscenely low royalties from YouTube, Spotify, and Apple Music.

Now, a reader is reaching out to the DMN community in an attempt to clarify a royalty issue.  According to an e-mail first received on Friday, the reader noticed his Google Play streams being substantially off since February.  And not just off by a little bit:

“On my most recent report, the rate that I was shown was literally 1/1000th of what it had been. The per stream rate for February was $0.000006881554.  I’ve reached out to my distributor, and they said that they’re looking into it, but I’ve seen no updates in close to two weeks.

“I’ve spoken to a few people online who use other distributors, and they’ve said that they are a few months behind on being paid royalties by Google.  I’m wondering if the rates were way off all around, and the distributors are trying to get them corrected, or if my distributor was the only one affected.  Have you heard anything about this?”

Apparently, in the report he received, the pay rates as so small that they “have to be defined in scientific notation per stream.” Here’s a quick look of the attached statement (with all of the personal information removed).

 

Google Play Payouts

 

You can also see the actual PDF below.

Attempts to reach out to Google Play have yet to result in any clarification on just about any issue related to royalty.

Has anyone experienced a similar issue on Google Play royalty rates being off?  Please share if you have.  And, please share your statements with us at [email protected] (confidentiality assured).

 

Empty pocket image by Dan Moyle, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC by 2.0).

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14 Responses

  1. Me

    Are you sure these are streams, and not cloud matches? Although that’s still really low even for cloud matches.

    Reply
  2. Dream

    Google hasn’t paid royalties from March to August , paid 0$ royalties through my distribution JTV DIGITAL. Unless jtv is just not sending the payments out

    Reply
  3. Elton

    I use DistroKid, and while I haven’t seen rates that low, I also haven’t seen a Google Play royalty payment for anything beyond March. They’re 5 months behind on Google Play, which isn’t typical.

    Reply
    • Dream

      Multiple distributors are also denying artists payments etc . I’m guessing because Google hasn’t paid them?

      Reply
    • dtla

      Yep, they are the furthest behind by a significant margin (other than Tidal, but that’s another story – they also paid March a few weeks ago). I’m also on Distrokid. They did just pay through April 5th on CD Baby account tho.

      Really frustrating! I agree that something needs to be done about this!

      Reply
  4. Angry artist

    Does anyone have info on when Google will be sending out royalties? Are they legally allowed to withhold artists royalties? This is ridiculous at this point , Google is always committing some sort of fraud and always get away with it

    Reply
    • dtla

      yeah, it seems like it is intentional at this point (and also how they screw us through YT).

      Not too mention it’s freaking Google so they are the biggest # crunchers on the planet. They can’t figure out the data to pay royalties faster? I don’t believe it

      Reply
  5. BasicLogic

    This artist says they “reached out to their distributor” so the spreadsheet you’re showing is from the distributor, not from Google Play.

    DMN, you’re doing that thing again where you blame the big company because it’s easy for you, and people love to read about how evil the big corporations are, but you’re not really investigating, you’re just doing enough to be music click bait.

    I’m a rightsholder of Google Play (and all the other DMS’s) and any service worth its name pays each and every month, on time. You can’t actually name a single distributor who is willing to go on the record and say Google is “months behind” on payment, can you? I didn’t think so.

    Steve

    Reply
    • Dream

      Every distributor is months behind , mainly because companies like tidal and Google ARE NOT PAYING OUT ROYALTIES

      Reply
    • Garrett

      This is where you’re wrong. If you truly believe that services pay each and every month, then I’ve got a bridge for sale that you might be interested in buying.

      Reply
  6. Dream

    How is YouTube on time with royalties but Google play not??? Aren’t they in the same company?

    Reply
  7. BASSMAN

    GOOGLE JUST PAID ME FOR MAY 2016 THROUGH DISTRIBUTOR ONERPM BUT MONTHS FEB MARCH AND APRIL HAVE STILL NOT BEEN PAID, THIS IS ODD …..

    Reply
  8. BASSMAN

    UPDATE !!!!!!! ONERPM JUST PAID OUT MAY AND JUNE GOOGLE ROYALTIES BUT FEB MARCH AND APRIL ARE STILL NO SHOW , I WILL UPDATE IF I RECEIVE ANY NEW REPORTS/ROYALTIES , I

    Reply

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