I’ve Got 1.2 Million Plays on Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon, and TIDAL. Want to See My Royalties?

Streaming music money!
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Streaming music money!
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Image by Thomas Galvez (CC by 2.0)

Here’s our latest data-stuffed royalty statement from a successful indie artist from Europe.

Earlier this week, we shared the royalties for one of Justin Bieber’s producers.  Now, it’s onto an artist who’s racked up more than a million streams in just a few months.  Most of those have been happening in Europe (so the payouts are listed in Euros).

I Wrote a Hit Song With Justin Bieber. Want to See My Royalties?

The full royalty statement is below.  But first, here’s a rundown of the essentials.

Most of these streams happened in 2016.  This is an indie artist with 100% ownership of publishing and masters.

So who is this artist?  We’ve removed identifying information from this royalty statement.  Typically, a royalty statement lists basic information like artist name, song, album, and numerical ISRC codes.  We deleted all of those fields.

This artist is accumulating streams on these platforms: Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon, Tidal, Google Play, Deezer, Rhapsody, and a few others.

Those are the big ones, though there are a few details to pick through here.  First, notice that both ‘Amazon’ and ‘Amazon Prime’ are listed.  Those are somewhat similar services, though Amazon Prime is the bundled version for Prime subscribers and a slightly different offering.

Also, you’ll notice some older, cloud-based services like iTunes Cloud and Google Play Locker.  Guess those are still out there.

Also, ‘Wimp’ is actually TIDAL.  Apparently older brand names can live in royalty reports for a while.  That also goes for ‘Groove,’ which was alive in 2016 but will be transitioned into Spotify by 2018.  Yeah, Microsoft decided to give up on streaming music entirely.

Now, onto the actual royalties.

On 1.205 million streams, this artist earned €3,765.01, or $4,432.58.  That breaks down to 0.31 Euro cents per spin, or 0.367 cents.

So which platform is paying the best?  That depends on both the streaming service itself, and the country.  Here’s a breakdown of several per-stream payouts per platform and country.  Keep in mind this is in Euro-cents.

(CH = Switzerland; D = Germany; AT = Austria)

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Spotify is mostly at the bottom of this breakdown.  But that is made up by volume (not sure why the numbers skip around so much at the end…)

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And, here’s the full-blown royalty statement.

Again, we’ve removed identifying names, ISRC codes, etc.  But all of the royalties and payouts are intact.  The date stamp is simply when we converted this into a PDF (again, the plays themselves were in 2016).

And, here’s a direct link to the file.


Got some royalties to share?  Please send them to news@digitalmusicnews.com.  We’ll sure to share them (confidentially if needed) to the music industry community.


17 Responses

  1. Hit Spins

    Doesn’t seem like a great way to get rich anymore…

    The record racket used to be a fabulous way to make fast money and
    enjoy the spoils of fancy cars, country mansions and city bachelor pads..

    Now you’re lucky if you’ve even enough to pay the gas bill in your one bedder rental downtown..

    • Anonymous

      Was it ever? I mean, a few people had enough talent and extraordinary luck to make it happen back when records were selling, but was that ever the norm?

  2. Paul Resnikoff

    In reality, there’s never been room for more than a few Princes, Michael Jacksons, Shania Twains, etc. ‘Making it’ to that level has always been similar to the lottery, with the applicants all being extremely talented, unique musical performers.

  3. Nat Turner

    I wish I could see their download sales. The majority of the money I get from digital distribution is still from downloads. If you’re making $4500 every million streams, that should be generating some good sales on downloads and merch.

  4. Anon

    Why do people still care about per play rates for premium subscription services? The highest rates are going to be from services that have the least activity. Also, the Spotify numbers above should be broken out between paid/free tiers. Taking what I assume to be an average, discounts the value that the paid service provides. This would also show the lack of value from the free tier.

    • Anonymous

      That’s absolutely right. The per play rate is a fraction. The numerator is a percentage of revenue (whether it’s subscription or advertising based), and the denominator is the number of all plays. Just because the per play rate is low does not mean you’re making less money from that service. It just means subscribers are getting more mileage out of their subscriptions. Tidal has a larger per play rate than Spotify Premium, but because Spotify’s revenue is so much higher, you’re ultimately going to be making a hell of a lot more money from Spotify Premium than Tidal (assuming people are listening to your music, of course). A service should not be judged by its per play rate.

      • Paul Resnikoff

        You guys are missing a major opportunity. I’ve seen artists making huge money off of smaller platforms, simply b/c the per-plays are really high. Microsoft Groove was one example.

        • Anon

          That’s great and all if you are able to reach your fans who use these smaller platforms. Having said that, how much effort is it worth when these platform are slowly drying up (e.g. Groove).

        • Anonymous

          I bet they had decent revenue. Maybe a lot of Xbox gamers subscribed to the service, but only used it when they were gaming. High revenue + lower usage means you get both a high per play rate and high payouts. Of course, high revenue doesn’t necessarily mean profitable, and the costs involved with running a service could’ve meant they were still losing money. Just guessing, of course.

  5. Hit Spins

    I always thought the UK record business was a better money making music machine in the days when records really sold a lot of records..

    Britain had the benefit of a small island, big population and a pop music culture and huge radio audience and TV shows like Top of the Pops really helped sell millions of records..

    TOTP ended, vinyl/CD/Cass sales evaporated

    AM/FM Radio became boring

    The Internet changed everything..

    Since everything has shifted to internet distribution/streaming the rich spoils have become very thin indeed..

    The days of going from empty pockets to driving a roller around Mayfair/Chelsea
    and weekends in your country pile have gone (except for Ed Sheeran, Adel, Robbie Williams..)

  6. Ray

    1.4 million streams is not a lot of streams. We’ve got to stop acting like that is superstar status = to 1 million sales.

    Ed Sheeran is streaming in the billions. That’s what a big payday looks like in a streaming world.

    • Anonymous

      It’s a fair point. The number 1 million is ingrained within most of our minds as the number of albums that need to be sold for that album to go platinum. However, when people buy albums, they usually listen to the songs on that album more than once. So in terms of “listens”, which is what we’re talking about when music is streamed, 1 million isn’t as exciting as it sounds.

      • Yep

        Yep. It’s like being played once on a radio station with 1.4 million listeners.

  7. Sunshine and flowers

    Only people such as those who own a shareholding in streaming companies will get excited enough to put
    out more propaganda etc. through their fix of stealing from artists/creatives.

  8. Indies

    The major labels have finally bought out all the major streaming platforms so they can continue to monopolise the music industry as they please…we independent artistes are once again screwed.

  9. Bigmoney

    Yes but is already famous young track aka treezy did 10m hits in soundcloud in 7 days 3.4m in 24 hour without sign now thats dope ????????????????

  10. kobe24

    young track aka treezy have 2,5 million views on youtube and is song far away
    he also have 1,5 million views and his song life is too hard
    1,1 million views and his song i remember
    1 million views again and his song everything
    yes is famous i just look him up
    dude got talent too no cap