Follow Us

DMN on Feedburner
Connect with:
divider image

What Your Favorite Streaming Service Is Actually Paying Artists…

These per-stream payouts come from an independent label with a catalog of roughly 1,500 songs (that will remain anonymous).  The time period is cumulative from 2012 through February 1st of of this year.

 

favoritestreamingpayout3

 

Using the above per-stream data, this is how many streams are required to equal the payout from one iTunes Store song download.

favoritestreamingpayout2

 

The data was published by The Trichordist.  The iTunes calculation is based on a 70-cent payout (roughly 70% of 99-cents). Everything is before the digital distributor takes their cut.

Written while listening to The Weeknd.

 

blue bar background graphic
Comments (52)
  1. Me

    Regarding the Spotify rate of .00521… is this supposed to be a subscription streaming rate, or an average between subscription and ad-supported rates? It can be misleading if not labeled correctly.


    Reply
    1. Casey

      Most likely an average between Premium, Unlimited, and Free.


      Reply
      1. Anti-Streaming

        What really pisses me off about services like Spotify is they don’t give the artist a choice any longer. Spotify, more than any other service, due to their sheer size, has become the new music mafia.

        It used to be, you made an album or single, pressed it up on vinyl or CD and you made a deal with a distributor who then sold it to stores for you. But you as the artist / lane; made a deal with the distributor for how much they, the distributor will buy it from you for. And in turn, they usually turned it around to the store after adding another 50% on top of it and the store added another 25-50% on it. But it was the artist and label that said, ‘This is what I think my product is worth. And this is what you can buy it for.” And if you are greedy, the distributor could say, “Take a leap.” But there was kind of a set price for what singles, EP’s and albums were sold to distributors for and we all made a decent living if you made a decent product. And digital distribution was supposed to help artists profits go up by getting rid of wasteful packaging and physical products having to be manufactured.

        And then came Spotify. Now that they are the worlds largest streaming service, in their mafia like ways, they say, “We are the biggest. So either you list with us or your music doesn’t get heard. Ohm and by the way, bend over. because we are going to pay you shit for your music.”

        Their whole, “The more people stream, the more we’ll pay you, only works if you are a major artist with major millions of promotional dollars behind you.” Joe Blow, no matter how indy popular he or she gets, is never going to get paid what a Gaga, Beyonce, Madonna or Kayne gets paid per stream. Ever! So it’s an automatically unfair model for the small artist and smaller labels who are once again, getting F*cked by the industry.


        Reply
        1. Veteran Talent Buyer / Promoter

          do you know what keystone means?

          I was involved in distribution in the early years of the 21st century. The artist never had a say in wholesale price structure, unless they were DIY.


          Reply
          1. Anti-Streaming

            Yes JTVDIGITAL I have been a record label owner and artist since 1989. So yes, we have had the ability to set the price on our products. If you did not, you were doing something wrong. At least we always did in dealing with RED our distributor for 14 years. Besides new material we specialized is licensed compilations similar to the Now That’s What I Call . . . compilations. And when we had some really crazy hot tracks on it, we sold it to distributors for a few dollars higher. And when it was an luke warm one, we shaved a few dollars off.

            And you missed my point about the Beyonce, Madonna, Kayne and streaming. Spotify clearly states in it’s accounting that their rate changes depending on how popular your track is, i.e., how much it’s streamed. Unlike 99% of the other streaming services that have fixed rates, Spotifies changes by volume. And again,. as a label owner I know this first hand. So when an artist like a Beyonce, Mariah, Madonna or Keyne have multi million dollar marketing campaigns behind them, they are going to be streamed at an astronomical amount more than an indy artist no matter where the indy artist gets radio play or not. So their sliding scale is bullshit and does not make for a fair playing field.


            Reply
  2. Jeremy Govciyan

    Say what ?


    Reply
  3. Sequenz_

    Is this publisher or performer rate?


    Reply
    1. Sequenz_

      I meant, authoral or performer payout rates.


      Reply
      1. Me

        It’s from a label, so I’m assuming it’s payouts on the sound recordings.


        Reply
        1. Geewhizpat

          And “the label” has a big part in the small payout in the streaming controversy


          Reply
  4. Casey

    Interesting numbers….

    I find it interesting Xbox Music pays so much per stream considering they have a free service. I’d say they have almost zero free users or that the rumor of them not paying for free streams is true. The competitors that do offer free services, Rdio and Spotify, pay significantly less on average as would be expected. I’m not following where the money is coming from unless Microsoft is significantly subsidizing it.

    Amazon shouldn’t actually be paying anything at all. All the music they stream was already purchased.


    Reply
    1. Paul Resnikoff

      “Amazon shouldn’t actually be paying anything at all. All the music they stream was already purchased.”

      Well, that’s what they argued, at first.


      Reply
  5. Anonymous

    So I guess this is what Microsoft is doing with all that XBox Live Gold membership $$$ they force you to pay just to access Netflix/Hulu.


    Reply
  6. Anonymous

    Again, the truly mindblowing part here is Google Play.

    It pays about 10 times more than Spotify per spin and it’s twice as big in the US…


    Reply
    1. Casey

      I imagine the payout per stream will fall in the future. Currently the device support and integration remains behind the competition, which gives people less ways to rack up plays. Less plays results in a higher average payout per play. They also have a feature unique to Google Play, which is the ability to upload music you bought to Google Play and combine that music with subscription music. I doubt Google pays much if anything for the streams of music people have uploaded, which means not every song people play will result in royalties keeping the average per song that wasn’t uploaded higher.


      Reply
      1. Anonymous

        “I imagine the payout per stream will fall in the future”

        …and I imagine it will rise. :)

        “Currently the device support and integration remains behind the competition”

        Nobody cares — Google Play is already twice as big as Spotify in the US.


        Reply
        1. Casey

          And it will rise… why exactly? Because you will it done?

          Spotify has over 1 million paying subscribers in the US. Google Play Music does not have 2 million, nor do they have the millions of free users generating royalties. Google Play’s free users generate little to zero revenue for the music industry.


          Reply
        2. Me

          Google Play All Access is not twice as big as Spotify in the U.S.


          Reply
          1. Anonymous

            Pandora: 40.3%
            YouTube: 24.4%
            Google Play: 5.7%
            Spotify: 2.8%

            Source: Digital Music News. (I won’t paste the link as it takes forever to get through dmn’s spam filter, but the headline was: YouTube and Pandora Control 65% of all Streaming Music In The US.)


            Reply
            1. Casey

              Interestingly that very study didn’t have any idea how many of those customers were paying, which very few are. The pay rate for the free version is far worse than Spotify’s free version and rightly so because you can only stream music you own.


              Reply
            2. Anonymous

              Are those numbers for Google Play All Access or Google Play Music Cloud?


              Reply
            3. Me

              Those numbers don’t look right. I’m pretty sure that YouTube is the #1 streaming service.


              Reply
              1. Miss Information

                Pandora streams more music in the U.S. than YouTube, Spotify, iHeart, and iTunes Radio combined. And by a long shot.


                Reply
  7. Anonymous

    And yet you still don’t see it’s not about the per-stream rate, it’s about the total revenue. Sigh.


    Reply
    1. Anonymous

      Unfortunately, the total revenue is determined by the per-stream rate.


      Reply
      1. Me

        Yes, but unfortunately nobody’s streaming music through Nokia.


        Reply
        1. Anonymous

          But they certainly use Google Play — which pays 10 times more than Spotify and is twice as big in the US.


          Reply
  8. David

    Cellist Zoe Keating just released some new sales/streaming revenue data: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AkasqHkVRM1OdHg2eWZRYVp1YmgyUDFvbWtwLWNCN0E#gid=0

    Sales are still overwhelmingly larger than streaming income, but the percentage of revenue due to streaming is higher than in her previous figures, IIRC. It’s also interesting to note that she gets more from Pandora (via Soundexchange) then from Spotify , despite Pandora’s low pay per play rate.


    Reply
    1. Anonymous

      What’s amazing is just how much money she makes from yawn worthy music. Pretty inspirational.


      Reply
      1. David

        Well, admittedly it’s not dance music (…except in a way it is: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XlnHCr1xb_c ), but that doesn’t make it yawn worthy!
        Her last album was #1 on the iTunes classical chart and high on the Billboard classical chart for months. Modern classical music (or whatever Zoe calls it) may be a small niche, but it does have the advantage that people who like it tend to be willing and able to pay for it.
        Of course, the figures are not net of costs, so they are not simply ‘income’. In Zoe’s case, as her recording process is relatively simple and self-sufficient, the recording costs are probably at the lower end of the scale.


        Reply
        1. Anonymous

          Her music is so fucking boring. Can’t listen to it for more then a minute without shutting it off.


          Reply
  9. TuneHunter

    There is no reason for any per stream payout or monthly subscription! Both should value equal to ZERO.

    All streaming services should function as supper customized personal music pleasers. Set you parameters, country or EDM and let them massage you to total nirvana.

    The trick – do not show them or limit info on what you play. They love something? Make them pay for ID and full
    ownership at the same click. Discovery moment monetization at $.39 /tune bringing over 100 billion in 2020.


    Reply
  10. Anonymous

    Amazon Cloud is not a fucking streaming service.


    Reply
    1. Paul Resnikoff

      Well, Amazon said the very same thing once upon a time…


      Reply
  11. Shadrack

    It’s annoying that these studies never include Youtube figures when it accounts for such a large amount of streaming.


    Reply
    1. Paul Resnikoff

      Great point. I have no idea what the payout figure would be.

      Does anyone?


      Reply
      1. JTVDigital

        You can not calculate per-stream pay-out for YouTube since the revenue is not per stream…what artists/labels get as part of the monetization programme (with Content ID…etc.) is a share of the AdSense revenues.

        Depending on where the money is collected from (artist channel or UGC) the revenue share is different.

        However the collectig societies like SACEM who have an agreement with YouTube pay the songwriters’ royalties based on views (so kind of per-stream), the basis in 2012 was 7.5€ every 50,000 views; deal terms are still being negotiated for 2013 revenues (this is public data available from the Sacem website).
        It’s not bad at all keeping in mind these are only songwriting/publishing royalties.


        Reply
        1. Guest

          This would be a nice figure to include, but as you point out it is widely variable.

          I work at a large indie, maintaining anonymity on purpose because our specific payouts have to do with our distribution deal, etc. but for UGC per stream payout the range is right in the middle of the pack on YouTube tending a bit towards the left on the graph. For some artists it does approach the Google Play number, for others it’s right in line with Napster.


          Reply
  12. Steven Cravis

    Great graphic representations, Paul Resnikoff. Thank you for this. And thank you to the independent label who provided the information.


    Reply
  13. JTVDigital

    Then we need the yearly income split per streaming service included in the graph.

    Pay per stream does not matter, the volume is much more important.

    You’ll get something like:
    1. Spotify
    2. Google Play
    3. Deezer
    …and most others will be close to 0 in terms of income.


    Reply
    1. tippysdemise

      +1


      Reply
  14. Anonymous

    According to this information Myspace music (on-demand) pays less than Pandora (radio). Why does anyone license their music to a service that pays so little?


    Reply
  15. AJ

    Rhapsody and Napster are the same company


    Reply
  16. Anti-Streaming

    What pisses me off about services like Spotify is they don’t give the artist a choice any longer. They’ve become the new music mafia.

    It used to be, you made an album or single, pressed it up on vinyl or CD and you made a deal with a distributor who then sold it to stores for you. But you as the artist / lane; made a deal with the distributor for how much they, the distributor will buy it from you for. And in turn, they usually turned it around to the store after adding another 50% on top of it and the store added another 25-50% on it. But it was the artist and label that said, ‘This is what I think my product is worth. And this is what you can buy it for.” And if you are greedy, the distributor could say, “Take a leap.” But there was kind of a set price for what singles, EP’s and albums were sold to distributors for and we all made a decent living if you made a decent product. And digital distribution was supposed to help artists profits go up by getting rid of wasteful packaging and physical products having to be manufactured.

    And then came Spotify. Now that they are the worlds largest streaming service, in their mafia like ways, they say, “We are the biggest. So either you list with us or your music doesn’t get heard. Ohm and by the way, bend over. because we are going to pay you shit for your music.”

    Their whole, “The more people stream, the more we’ll pay you, only works if you are a major artist with major millions of promotional dollars behind you.” Joe Blow, no matter how indy popular he or she gets, is never going to get paid what a Gaga, Beyonce, Madonna or Kayne gets paid per stream. Ever! So it’s an automatically unfair model for the small artist and smaller labels who are once again, getting F*cked by the industry.


    Reply
    1. JTVDigital

      This is slightly incorrect. The pay per stream is the same, whether your are Beyoncé or the latest indie band playing in your basement.
      The only difference is that when Beyoncé gets billions of streams, indie garage band makes 10, at most.
      As usual the things to focus on are talent, making good music (‘good’ being highly subjective yes), be a good performer, marketing, promo, growing your fanbase by all means, get more exposure and opportunities, go on tour, collaborate with other artists…etc.
      And with a little luck you will be the next Beyoncé and make tons of cash from Spotify, amongst others.


      Reply
      1. question

        i detest this pervading attitude that only things of massive scale have any worth. Such a market-driven idea of art. I imagine this is what Thatcher & Reagan would say if they were in this debate. It’s disgusting, especially when the things that have really propelled culture forward were mostly not mass-market.


        Reply
        1. JTVDigital

          That’s not the point. It is not a matter of ‘worth’ or ‘quality’ or any other subjective criteria. It’s just reality.
          People buy / stream more music from big acts than smaller ones, that’s a fact.
          Nobody is talking about art here, it’s business / marketing whatever you name it.
          I don’t like this neither, it’s just how things are.


          Reply
  17. Dan Charles

    Another fuel to fire post from digital music news………

    People don’t seem to get that if someone is only listening to your tune once on spotify the chances of that person actually buying your track for £1 on itunes is slim to none. So a single stream off spotify is coverage and a royalty from one single play of a track and said track can be leased out and collect royalties for all eternity.

    Consumers aren’t going to change – streaming is too easy. I use it on the daily and happily pay a premium too.

    I’ve started releasing music, it has all done quite well in my genre charts. Yet I still upload all of my music to filesharing sites, torrent sites, spotify and other streaming services. Why? coverage is the most vital thing in order to avoid obscurity and cut through the noise. There are literally 100′s of revenue streams that can all trickle in and add up to a reasonable amount of cash. Putting all your eggs in one basket will never win in this new digital ecosphere.

    Music is a sound vibration, it is not and never will be a physical thing (sur eyou can package it up physically, but it is a vibration none the less) In order for music to proliferate, it needs to move freely without hindrance or obstruction (ie paywalls) this organic natural flow will bring the right people to you who want to pay for concert tickets, mp3′s, vinyls, merch etc. The rest of the streamers are just helping to promote your music to potential fans.

    Change happens, deal with it


    Reply
    1. JTVDigital

      Exactly. This is the message to angry / moaning artists: deal with it. Adapt yourself to the new market reality.
      This is called evolution.
      People will not stop listening to music, and streaming services will not disappear.
      There is no magic, it is an extremely challenging and competitive environment, but there are many ways to achieve your goals within this ‘new music industry’ how some may call it.


      Reply
    2. Anti-Streaming

      No Dan & Yes JTVDIGITAL I have been a record label owner and artist since 1989. So yes, we have had the ability to set the price on our products. If you did not, you were doing something wrong. At least we always did in dealing with RED our distributor for 14 years. Besides new material we specialized is licensed compilations similar to the Now That’s What I Call . . . compilations. And when we had some really crazy hot tracks on it, we sold it to distributors for a few dollars higher. And when it was an luke warm one, we shaved a few dollars off.

      And you missed my point about the Beyonce, Madonna, Kayne and streaming. Spotify clearly states in it’s accounting that their rate changes depending on how popular your track is, i.e., how much it’s streamed. Unlike 99% of the other streaming services that have fixed rates, Spotifies changes by volume. And again,. as a label owner I know this first hand. So when an artist like a Beyonce, Mariah, Madonna or Keyne have multi million dollar marketing campaigns behind them, they are going to be streamed at an astronomical amount more than an indy artist no matter where the indy artist gets radio play or not. So their sliding scale is bullshit.


      Reply
      1. JTVDigital

        Yes you set the price, on a physical product or on a download.
        Streaming is different, there is no ownership, no unit-price for the consumer.
        How do you set the price upstream of something that has no unit price?
        And yes there is a ponderation based on volume, market share…etc., but there is no major difference, nothing significant enough to change the game between big and small acts.
        As you say “have multi million dollar marketing campaigns behind them”, this is what makes the difference and creates volume.
        So ok, indie artists can’t get multi-million $ marketing campaigns, so what is the solution? Seriously.


        Reply

Leave a Reply

Connect with:


× nine = 9

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

  1. OUR SPONSORS

  2.  
  3. Most Heated!