Confirmed: Apple Will Pay Indies $0.0013 Per iRadio Stream…

Apple is offering indies a firm, non-negotiable royalty rate of $0.0013 per stream on iTunes Radio, according to contract details confirmed by Digital Music News early this morning.  That corroborates information disclosed by a separate source earlier this month (and published by Digital Music News); though the latest information now comes in writing, on an actual contract.

Apple is also offering shares of advertising revenue and an increase after the initial year.  Here’s the more detailed breakdown of the rates that Apple is offering.

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Keep in mind, this is just the (non-negotiable) form contract being sent to indies (and non-major artists).  Major labels have been granted entirely different terms, based on earlier negotiations.

32 Responses

    • commenting on genius statement

      You sir, are correct. Competing streaming giants can’t wait for indepenent artists to completely disregard iRadio’s “Mr.Candyland(Django)”- like contract agreement. Spotify execs are licking their chops waiting for them to adjust or fail

    • Visitor

      Have any other artists wondered what they’ll do if Apple makes iTunes Radio mandatory?

      Here’s my solution (forgive me for copying from another thread):

      I’m going to:

      1) Make my own little store. Like most artists, I’ve got a small, fairly well visited platform, and I’ve been thinking about this for a while anyway. Maybe it’s not the end of the world…

      2) Move everything from iTunes to Amazon for customers who prefer a store they know. I’m not particularly happy about this, given Amazon’s price politics, but it’ll do for now.

      Could be interesting to hear how other artists are going to deal with this…

      • R.P.

        Exactly what I said before. You sir are a visionary.

        Did anyone realize that Kanye skipped out on iTunes preorders and streams and even offered the Yeezus album for purchase on his own website before iTunes had it?

        It’s so sad for me to see giants fall.

        • Visitor

          “Did anyone realize that Kanye skipped out on iTunes preorders and streams and even offered the Yeezus album for purchase on his own website before iTunes had it? ”

          Interesting, wonder how Apple liked that…

          Anybody knows how much he sold?

          • GGG

            On his site, no, but I think I read he hit around 320-350K. We should have heard about that on here since Paul reported about the last few weeks worth of #1 records, but oh yea, he wasn’t a Spotify “holdout.”

            Womp womp.

  1. jw

    There is a huge need for a lot of terms to be standardized.

    A terrestrial radio “play” could be the same thing as tens or hundreds of thousands of iRadio or Pandora “plays.”

    This is not a topic where “per play” rates can be fairly compared, there is way too much else involved. Someone ought to really try & draw out a TRUTHFUL comparison that’s based on LISTENS that will really show people how these services stack up against one another (streams vs one-to-one “radio” streams vs radio broadcasts).

    I know that’s not what your anti-technology conspiracy theorist readers want to hear, Paul, but if you really want to service the industry, that’s the expose you should be writing.

    • Visitor

      “anti-technology conspiracy theorist readers”

      lol, is that how you see musicians?

      Have you any idea of the obscene amount of machines we use at work?

      As for streaming:

      We would absolutely love it — like we love radio — if it made any sense.

      But it doesn’t. So we don’t.

      • jw

        No that’s not how I see musicians. But it’s how I see a lot of DMN commentors. Some of them probably are musicians, but I don’t make that assumption.

        Musicians, themselves, based on their own arrangements, aren’t entitled to the lion’s share of recorded music profits. There’s plenty of other folks with reason to spread anti-tech rhetoric.

        What would streaming “making sense” mean to you? That a single play to 1 person via a cell phone should pay out the exact same amount as a single play on a radio station that reaches tens or potentially hundreds of thousands of listeners?

        • Visitor

          “What would streaming “making sense” mean to you?”

          OK, fair question.

          YouTube makes sense to me.

          Not because they pay better. They don’t. And certainly not because they’re owned by Google. But because of the size of their crowd. Plus, you don’t have to upload complete songs. That’s really, really important.

          I’ll probably join iTunes Radio — or any other streaming service, for that matter — if 1-200m streams per hit ever becomes standard.

          And no, you never know if you’re going to get lucky.

          But you don’t play when you know you can’t win.

          • GGG

            100-200M in what amount of time? Get Lucky for example has 51M. Pretty big number for how little Spotify’s user base is. So again, why not try to expand Spotify. You even admit Youtube pays worse so you’re playing to the audience. Completely reasonable. So why not try to enact another avenue of consumption?

          • Visitor

            Listen, the decision not to stream is not an ideology or a religion.

            I would be interested if I thought Spotify payouts would reach YouTube levels, or better.

            But I don’t. And my lack of trust is not based on idelogy, religion or prophecies, either.

            It’s based on the fact that Spotify loses money and releases.

          • GGG

            “I would be interested if I thought Spotify payouts would reach YouTube levels, or better.”

            Ok, but here’s what I don’t get. I’m going to enter your mind for a minute….haha.

            Spotify is bad because, even though it pays better than YouTube, it doesn’t have as many users, so it pays less in reality. OK, I’ll accept that.

            Spotify is also bad because it cannibalizes sales. The problem is that’s a streaming thing! Not a spotify exclusive thing. So getting your 200K from 200M streams on YouTube is really costing you millions and millions of dollars. Why don’t YouTube plays count as cannibalizing?

            You can’t say one is not a ripoff just because you get more money. The one that gives you more money is acutally a bigger ripoff than Spotify. So this is what I mean by why not push for this second streaming service? Two ripoffs are better than 1, which is better than zero.

          • Visitor

            “You can’t say one is not a ripoff just because you get more money.”

            I can say whatever the f I want.

            Now, I’m very emotional when it comes to music. And it almost always comes to music.

            But I’m also very pragmatic when it comes to economy. Because that of the ingredients music is made of.

            And I don’t give a f*** who’s a ripoff and who isn’t. This week’s good guy is next week’s creep. Apple may turn out to be the perfect example of that, if the holdout-kickout rumors are true.

            Please note that I’m not saying I’m getting 200m YouTube streams. I’m saying that I’m not participating in any game that can’t offer that amount of attention.

            Cannibalization: Greed comes in all shapes & sizes but mine is relatively satisfied by the prospect of 200m YouTube views. And for one reason: 200m YouTube views can finance my next work.

            And that, ladies & gents, is the bottom line! Not only for me, but for the entire industry, or artist segment, or whatever you want to call yourselves.

          • GGG

            This doesn’t make any sense, though. You are completely hypocritical and uneven in your thinking. Yes, YouTube in it’s current state can reach 200M for a song no prob. Hell, a fucking billion is now attainable. Regardless, your royalty rate is still SHITTIER THAN SPOTIFY! Not to mention, could it hit those marks in 2005, 2006, 2009? It had to grow into it.

            So your desired mark is now 200M for a hit song. Fine. As I stated before, Get Lucky, between the radio edit and album versions, has 60M+ streams. So you have, according to Spotify which probaby inflates its numbers so they will actually work against you here, 6M paid and 24 free, so 30M, at most, users. Pretty good ratio for pop songwriters. Meanwhile YouTube has what, a billion uniques a month. Makes those 200M plays look a lot smaller doesn’t it?

            This is why driving people to Spotify could be fucking great for you! If less than 30M users can give a pop song 60M streams in a few weeks, imagine what 50, 80, 100M users will do! And if you don’t really believe in cannibilization occurs from streaming, there’s no reason NOT to have another avenue of streaming. It’s more money!

          • Visitor

            The difference between you and me is that you live in a dream.

            In that dream, Spotify will be able to generate 200m streams in a not so distant future.

            But your dream is fueled by hopes and prayers and an isolated European act that got lucky on a European streaming platform.

            While facts suggest that Spotify may not exist at all in a couple of years.

            And no, I don’t worry about cannibalization if we pass the 200m mark. I’m in the same situation as a lot of other people; I just want my previous project to finance the next.

            Re YouTube vs. Spotify; there are many differences but this is crucial:

            You don’t have to upload complete songs to YouTube.

            I’m not aware of any other streaming service that can compete with that. But I would love to be wrong.

          • GGG

            First of all, I never said I think Spotify songs can get 200M streams in the near future. Don’t put words in my mouth. I simply said Get Lucky (yes, an isolated song, but facts are facts) got 60M+ streams with less than 30M users. Then I said imagine if there was a lot more users.

            Also funny you bring up a dream world when you clearly think going back to 1998 in terms of music sales is going to happen any time in the near future or any time ever.

            But sure, keep being a pushover for youtube while they laugh with the millions and millions of dollars they could be paying you for royalties.

          • Visitor

            Um, just got this thought:

            Can you upload a short teaser for a song to Spotify?

            That would be seriously interesting…

          • Visitor

            Pretty sure he’s just messing with you, dude. Personally I agree with you, but I don’t think it’s worth the effort to argue with someone who SOUNDS pompous over the internet.

          • GGG

            To edit: 51M radio edit spins on Spotify, 13M album cut.

      • GGG

        Do you think 1 Pandora play equals 1 radio spin in terms of reach?

        • Jeff Robinson

          No. It works completely differently. As streams are unique to an individual listener.

          A song on over-the-air broadcast radio in a P1 (Top 50 market) will likely have 50,000 listeners or better depending on the wattage of the radio station. Traditional radio presents ‘viewpoint programming’ from one entity that gets broadcast to tens of thousands of listeners.

          • GGG

            I know. World Famous Songwriter Visitor just always refuses to answer that questions. Because of what you said.

          • Visitor

            You’re a weirdo, GGG — anybody ever told you that?

          • GGG

            Still can’t answer the question…

            Maybe if you were a little weirder, you wouldn’t be shitting out the same terrible pop music. Show some creativity.

    • hippydog

      QUOTE: “Someone ought to really try & draw out a TRUTHFUL comparison that’s based on LISTENS that will really show people how these services stack up against one another (streams vs one-to-one “radio” streams vs radio broadcasts). ”

      OMG, ive been asking for something like that since I came to this site..

      The information is out there, it needs to be actually pulled together and averaged..

  2. Marah

    How does this $.0013 compare to what other radio-ish sites are paying?

  3. What's the rest say?

    Where is the rest of the agreement so that we can see what those capitalized terms mean?

    Also, do you have a publishing agreement you can print too so that we can see the full picture?

  4. Unhappy

    This is lower than the statutory rate for non-interactive streams, meaning this service will pay lower fees than Pandora or other internet radio stations. Meaning artists get less.

    This is what happens when too much power gets concentrated. This is also what happens when statutory rates are artificially high: it gives major players an incentive to negotiate direct deals, which will always tend to favor the major players.

    I’ve read so many comments on this site where folks cheerlead the demise of Pandora. Careful what you ask for. If/when Pandora is gone, you’ll be left with deals like these & you will be royally screwed. You do not factor into Apple’s thinking unless you are a major.


    Sometimes less is more, Apple has a few customers out there. Developers pay Apple 30% for the use of their network and Client base, our Apps aim to pay a 10% royalty to the Copyright Owner and a 20.20% return to the creator of any Ring-Tone created, by our Software, with a 30% break up for Platform owner such as Apple, Android, Windows 8: all based on a $0.99 selling cost for each Ring-Tone uploaded by others.[]

  6. Funn Networks

    These rates are ridiculous. Enough already!

    We simply cannot believe a movement hasn’t started whereas all artists (and labels) stop being the enabler for services such as these….

    I guess we’ll have to kick start the movement!! Can’t wait!