We’re a Rock Band from France. Want to See Our Streaming Royalties?

The following comes from Giant Jack, an independently distributed, unsigned rock band based in France.  It covers net streaming payments from Spotify, YouTube, Google Play, Deezer, and Qobuz, among others, for the period spanning November, 2014 to February, 2016.

Giant Jack shared this information with DMN earlier this week, and authorized us to republish it.

Let’s break this down.

For starters, this is all in Euros, though the exchange rate is fairly equal these days (on Wednesday, it’s 1 € = $1.13 US).  Converting all of these into per-stream, breakdowns, we have:

  • YouTube: €0.00023 / $0.00026 per stream
  • Spotify: €0.0014 / $0.0018 per stream.
  • Deezer: €0.0028 / $0.0036 per stream.
  • Qobuz: €0.028 / $0.037 per stream.

We’re not really sure what’s going on with Nokia (except that it’s zero); and we’re trying to clarify exactly what ‘iTunes Europe’ is (perhaps something iCloud-related or maybe Apple Music).

In terms of Google Play, the royalty has a full album purchase as well as 14 streams, so it’s difficult to extract a per-stream rate (though maybe there’s more details).

Assembling all of these from lowest-to-highest per-stream payout, we have the following (in $):

In terms of how to make sense of this, take Spotify, which yields $0.0018 per stream.  That translates into 18/1,000ths of a dollar, which is roughly 2/10ths of a penny (or 0.18 cents) per stream.  Which is, by the way, far lower than Spotify’s reported ‘average’ of about 0.7 cents per stream).

Other Details.

Also, please note that Giant Jack distributes through Wiseband, which is a distributor focused on the European market.

Now for what’s missing: Tidal, Groove Music (Xbox Music), and Pandora, plus subscription services like SoundCloud Go and YouTube Red.  On Tidal and Xbox Music, we’ve actually received an incredibly detailed breakdown of royalties from both of these platforms across more than a dozen countries, thanks to a specific test conducted by an indie hip-hop label (so stay tuned for that).

For Pandora, that involves both (a) SoundExchange statements for recordings, and (b) publishing royalties from PROs.  But, given that this is a rock band in France, and Pandora is only in the US, Australia, and New Zealand, this may be immaterial for Giant Jack.

44 Responses

  1. G

    At first I was like “How can Google Play pay some much per stream?” but then I saw there was one album sale in the left column. Maybe you should clarify that.

    • Paul Resnikoff

      You’re right, that’s an album sale, so it’s impossible to pick it apart from the streaming revenue (at least without a more detailed statement). thanks for noticing that.

  2. Hey

    @Paul : “ventes albums” means “albums sold”, and “ventes morceaux ” is “songs sold” . So those Google Play and Itunes Europe numbers are for albums and singles sold, not streams. You migh want to correct the chart.

    • Hey

      Ps: on my Tunecore statement, Streaming from AppleMusic is always labeled as that, while streaming from iCloud ( itunes match) is labeled under iTunes.

    • Paul Resnikoff

      Makes sense. I’d accidentally lumped them together.

  3. Anonymous

    This band has one song that has passed the 1000 plays threshold on Spotify. There’s really no reason to put any bearing on these people as an indicator of what streaming is or isn’t doing for unsigned acts, or any act for that matter.

    Get rid of Spotify and maybe these guys sell 50 more albums to their friends. Then what? Sure, they made $500, way more than they made off Spotify but what good does that do? They’d just complain about major labels not giving them a chance to be heard, or whatever the gatekeeper they feel like shitting on that day is.

    Use your reporting skills to get some numbers from mid-level bands on Glassnote or SubPop or Rough Trade, etc etc. Interesting we don’t hear them complaining nearly as much as bands with no fans or the super star writer who’s one of 17 people on a hit song.

    • 30

      This. 3,037 is a decent number of downloads, but that’s barely anything when it comes to streaming.

    • Paul Resnikoff

      “They’d just complain about major labels not giving them a chance to be heard, or whatever the gatekeeper they feel like shitting on that day is.”

      Hmm. Seems like you really hate the little guy. And I didn’t really get the sense these guys had any negative things to say to anyone. They were just interested in sharing royalties, for the good of the community. And to learn more, perhaps attract more ideas, partners, fans, whatever.

      • Anonymous

        I don’t hate little guys at all, I support them plenty, I just think there’s a point where anti-streaming arguments should have a little more meat to them on this site and elsewhere. Contact bands with tens of millions of streams and see what they think about it. I know you’ve had people like Zoe Keating, etc, which is great, but I rarely see a current, solidly mid-level bands shitting on streaming. Does this mean they are fine with it, or their label doesn’t allow them to talk about it? I dunno, that’d be one thing to find out.

        I just think showing some tiny band’s crummy streaming income is a cheap, easy way to say streaming is bad. If this was 2005 and a tiny band sent you an email saying, “we only sold 100 CDs, the industry is fucked” you probably wouldn’t have wrote an article about piracy, you would have ignored or thought, ‘get back to me when you have more fans.’

        • Troglite

          What language within the article did you interpret as an assertion that “streaming is bad”???

          The only statements of that nature I see are within the comments (mostly yours).

          I do think you that “mid level” artists represent a uniquely interesting use case. Kind of the music industries equivalent of an awkward teen. Established enough that focusing on revenue is appropriate and necessary, but still not large enough to be broadly recognized by your average citizen or to sustain themselves exclusively from their recordings. These acts, perhaps more than any other, need to balance promotional and revenue generating activities.

          • Anonymous

            It’s DMN, every article about streaming is either explicitly or tacitly negative…lol

            As for your last paragraph, I agree, which is why it’d be interesting to hear their takes. The “reporting” about streaming is so lopsided, and publishing this is just sort of worthless, in my opinion. Where are leaked royalties statements, or thoughts on streaming from bands that play 3-5k rooms? For all I know they’ll hate streaming too, I’m not trying to insinuate they all love it. I just have no idea.

        • Paul Resnikoff

          This is just a streaming statement from an up-and-coming artist. Where’s the negativity?

  4. Zoo

    “But i rarely see a current, solidly mid-level bands shitting on streaming.”

    Mmm..well..hum…just from the top of my head, there’s this tiny amateur band called Radiohead who’s been shitting a lot on streaming, a couple of underground artists have been very critical as well, like upcoming artist Taylor Swift , Lady Gaga , a local barmitzvah band named Coldplay, even entire labels like the totally unknown ECM jazz label ( home of little known young artists like Keith Jarrett) refuse to be on streaming platforms, etc..
    Sorry , couldn’t find any known names…

    • Anonymous

      Mmmm..well..hum…Radiohead, Taylor Swift, Lady GaGa and Coldplay are not mid-level, so they are moot. They have far more to gain from being off streaming, not to mention the clout they/their labels can use to push around services to potentially get what they want. Not to mention Coldplay windowed their for like a week, and their singles were up on their release days.

      Also, I’m purposely not talking about people who aren’t even on the service. That would make absolutely no sense to this argument either.

      So if you’ve got your finger on the pulse of who hates streaming and like being a dick, maybe show me bands I actually asked for, and then prove me wrong. I’ll gladly accept that dickishness.

  5. Zoo Idiot

    What part of “solidly mid-level bands” can you simply not comprehend, moron?

    Radiohead, Taylor Swift, Lady Gaga – every single artist you mentioned is a mega-star in today’s market. And they all got there before the relatively recent rise in streaming usage.

    Fina a MID LEVEL artist that is making money on streaming.

    Zeo Keating is arguably one (although I would say she’s actually a “small” artist, commercially-speaking). Despite the attempts to re-contextualize her point, she is actually very bullish on streaming. She recognizes it as a newly-minted revenue stream that never existed for artists in her position, previously.

    • Zoo

      @ZooIdiot: well, if you can’t understand the fact that if even the mentionned megastars find it hard to make a living with streaming, therefore the “solidly mid-level” bands must have it worse….i’m afraid there’s not much i can do . It’s kind of obvious even to a 9 yo kid.
      Buy ( or pirate ) a new brain perhaps ?

      • Anonymous

        The top 5 songs alone should have easily paid out close to $6M to Coldplay’s rights holders. While the billions of streams needed to make millions of dollars can certainly seem lopsided, I’m fairly certain we’d all easily switch out our annual salary for what Chris Martin makes in a year off streaming.

      • Zoo Idiot

        Ha! Holy crap, you’re dumb!

        Zoo: well, if you can’t understand the fact that if even the mentionned megastars [Radiohead, Taylor Swift, Lady Gaga] find it hard to make a living with streaming….

        Thom Yorke’s Net Worth is estimated at $35 Million. Yearly income is in the hundreds of thousands to the millions.

        Taylor Swift’s Net Worth is estimated at $280 Million. Yearly income is in the double digits millions of dollars.

        Lady Gaga’s Net Worth is estimated at about $2750 Million. Yearly income is in the double digits millions of dollars, as well.

        You classify this is these people “finding it hard to make a living?” None of them has to stream even one song, ever again, and they would never even come close to finding ANYTHING about their lives hard to keep up.

        • Zoo

          @ZooIdiot : you wrote : “But i rarely see a current, solidly mid-level bands shitting on streaming”
          I cited a bunch of High-level bands SHITTING on streaming. If you don’t believe it, Google search them, and you will plenty of negative comments from them towards streaming. What is so hard about your retarded troll brain to understand about it ? You’re talking as if only bands that sell 2 copies a year have anything negative to say about streaming. You only hear about high profile artists before those are the only ones the media care to talk about, but from there , you can assume that plenty of mid-level bands are “shitting” on streaming as well.
          Even Daniel Ek wouldn’t dare troll as much a you.

          • Anonymous

            ZooIdiot is not the same person as me, the original anonymous who wrote the post you responded to. Read my post a couple up from this in response to you.

          • Zoo Idiot

            Ha! The idiocy continues!

            Zoo: you wrote : “But i rarely see a current, solidly mid-level bands shitting on streaming”

            Um, no. Wrong AGAIN.

            I didn’t write that. “Anonymous” did. As he just pointed out to you.

            And yes, you “cited a bunch of High-level bands SHITTING on streaming.”

            But again, the issue is, was, and remains (and I’ll type it out S L O W L Y for you, this time):





            What is so hard about your retarded troll brain to understand about that simple question and it’s very basic limitation, asking to discuss….


            …..wait for it!…..

            MID-LEVEL BANDS?

            You’re quoting mega-stars who can afford to say they don’t like streaming, because they sell 5,000,000 copies, NO MATTER WHAT.

            What about real, working-level bands that actually depend on streaming income as another revenue source, to actually make a living (as opposed to just an additional $5m)????

            So, NO. We can’t assume ANYTHING. And certainly not that “plenty of mid-level bands are “shitting” on streaming as well.”

            Otherwise, you would have provided some evidence of that, like originally asked. Hmmmmmm????


            Try to understand the discussion and, when you hopefully realize that it is beyond your limited grasp, just stay the hell out of it and quit mucking it up.


        • Anonymous

          @ ZooIdiot : What is your point exactly ? That mid-level bands are making a good living with streaming or that they don’t ?

  6. Ted

    I love streaming music rates from the DSP’s and the money it brings! lol

  7. Roger Bixley

    Once again DMN loves comparing apples to oranges. Qobuz is a paid-only subscription streaming service operating predominantly in France, with a few other big territories such as UK and Germany. The others are all worldwide, with low-subsription revenue from many small, third-world territories dragging down the average. Hopefully someone can provide you with a territorial breakout, with freemium vs paid subs, and I’m guessing the discrepancy wouldn’t be as pronounced as your chart seems to imply.

    • anon

      Its what he does to fit the narrative. Digital royalties are so much more complex than goodies and baddies but it doesn’t make for a good story.

      I’d be looking at Wiseband before the Services, I worked for a european independent distributor 18 months ago and we were being paid near enough what Spotify reports as their per stream royalty before we reported to and paid our labels. I can’t imagine that much has changed in that time

    • Paul Resnikoff

      What you are describing are all optional business model choices. Premium-only subscription simply means you’re demanding that consumers pay, or go somewhere else. Launching in a tiny country means you decided to do that, hopefully with some reasonable business logic in mind.

      Those are definitely playing into per-stream rates, and should shape how (a) these services are rolled out, and (b) whether artists choose to work with them.

  8. Just Some American Band

    In 2015, I had over 1.4M combined streams across all the services. Want to see my royalty statements Paul? Where should I send them?

  9. JTVDigital

    The “Nokia” service was terminated recently, this is what is happening here (in reply to “We’re not really sure what’s going on with Nokia”; their distributor should have informed them).

    These guys should seriously work on acquiring more fans and social media reach, with 499 FB fans, no official website (apparently), 34 twitter followers, no instagram (apparently), their sales numbers will most likely stay as is.

    It’s great that they share their data, and it will certainly help them gain unexpected exposure by being published on DMN, but I can tell you that we distribute hundreds of “independently distributed, unsigned” bands or artists who make 100X or more of these amounts, just by spending some time on their marketing and have some touring activity (that’s what a band is supposed to do, right?).

  10. Anon

    Also worth noting Wiseband appear to take 9% commission on royalties

  11. Gaetano

    Thanks for sharing this info Paul. I don’t see why so many people are against the little guy. I mean, granted, they didn’t get THAT many streams. That amount of $27 dollars earned should actually be a lot less because there is some sales included too. But still, its a scary earning, clearly no way to make a living. Fact remains that streaming is sucky way to generate revenue for artists, and a great way to generate revenue for the machine. No matter how big or how small the artists are…

    • Anonymous

      Sigh….I’m not against the little guy. Streaming is obviously huge issue, and this site should have the clout by now to get hard numbers/opinions from bands that are in the thick of it. If streaming wasn’t the context, you would not care about a band that clearly has a very small fanbase. Is it a part of the discussion that should be included? Sure, to a very small degree, but the bulk of this debate should be using acts that have visibility. Therefore, we can see if streaming is truly hurting, helping, or somewhere in between.

      I’ve seen many top tier acts that are against it, for it, and indifferent. I’ve seen plenty of struggling acts who are against. But I have seen very, very few thoughts/numbers on bands that have 50-100k fans on Facebook, or 10M+ streams on Spotify. Why aren’t you guys more curious about that? Maybe there’s a point of success where streaming is great. Maybe not. Instead of just reposting another article’s information in a new graph, go talk to people and dig into this. Be a journalist.

  12. Rick Shaw

    So, does this band just suck? Is that the real reason they aren’t getting the numbers?

  13. Muck Se

    To me, the main argument is how much is the fat bald no-talent punk in Sweden making off the sweat of others? Streaming, in a way, is just another major label, even though anyone can get on. The music industry should be organized in an open-source way, so you pay to set up to stream your own material, and the money comes straight to you from the subscriptions and/or advertising, and there should be NO FREE TIER! Fat bald pirate doesn’t get to build a company on my work, end of story.

  14. Me

    What exactly is your measure for up-and-coming? 3,000 total streams doesn’t seem like a band that’s coming up… more like a band that’s probably staying put.

  15. Michah Himmelman

    Indie Musicians,

    Aren’t you fed up?
    Check out Ticksa dot com
    You set the listening price per song (starting from 1cent).
    Yes, that’s right, do the calculation 😀
    Clear transparent revenue sharing – you keep 80 percent.
    No monthly or hidden costs.

    Users pay to listen to your music.
    You’re 60 seconds away.

  16. Stareyed

    Time to boycott ALL streaming, untill they pay a fair wage for using our music. Being heard in Wallgreens in the shaving cream isle aint cool, when your check doesn’t cover the cost of the blades! Radio doesn’t pay, clubs don’t pay, and the band still wants to get paid. Touring costs money!! Unless you are a headliner, you pay to open!! You pay the promoter for getting you the gig that doesnt pay any money, and then you get a $270 royalty check. Musicans need to band together and tell labels and screaming services to screw. I have been around for 20 years. There’s always a new crop of dreamy eyed kids lined up to be taken advantage of. Amazing. Nobody gets it. Youre being funked hard!!! The CEOs are making Millions off your music, while you can’t afford shaving cream. But dont worry, because isn’t it neat that your on Spotify? Geeze I feel so famous. Where are the razorblades?

  17. Yung Von

    Paul I made 100,000 off iTunes and 50,000 off spotify …… whoever Anonymous is knows what he talking about….

  18. Philippe Astor

    Audio streaming revenues in France, paid & add-supported, 2015 : € 94 M
    Number of audio streams, France, 2015 : 17.7 billion
    Average label revenue per stream (Paid & free), France, 2015 : € 0,0053
    Average artist revenue per stream, France, 2015 (with a 10 % to 14 % royalties rate) : € 0.00053 to € 0.00074

  19. Anonymous

    US digital subscription and streaming revenues, 2015 (RIAA) : $ 2,4 billion
    US number of audio & video streams, 2015 (Nielsen) : 317.2 billion
    US average label revenue per stream (paid & free, audio & video), 2015 : $ 0.0075
    US average artist revenue per stream : $ 0.00075 to $ 0.001

    Would be usefull to get the split between paid & free streams, audio & vidéo streams, in each case (FR & US).