Streaming rates for Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube shared, and you’re not getting rich

Posted by on January 20, 2017

Although we run our Metal by Numbers column every week, it only tells a small part of the story as far as record sales. It’s no secret that many music listeners have switched over to streaming. One major advantage to streaming services is that any band can sign with a service like Tunecore and be up on the streaming services. It’s also an equalizer – if you get streams, you’ll get paid. However, you’re not likely to make a ton of money via streaming services unless you get streamed quite a bit, and a post by David Lowery on Hypebot breaks down exactly what all of the  streaming services paid last year. 

Lowery, who some might remember as the frontman of Cracker, has always been pretty transparent about what he makes via streaming. In short, no one’s getting rich unless your name rhymes with “lake” or “the meeknd.” Lowery looks at an independent label with 150 albums in it’s catalog that generated 115 million streams in 2016.

Spotify is the most popular streaming service, and it generated 62.97% of its total online streams, making almost 70% of the label’s online profits from streaming. However, Spotify actually decreased what they paid artists per stream from 2014, with the pay rate going from $0.000521 per song to $0.00437 last year.

In terms of profit, Apple Music is a distant second, with 13.35% of the label’s revenue. They actually pay more, $0.00735 per song, making up 7.18% of the label’s streams.  Google Play paid more than Spotify, $0.0-676 per song, but less than Apple, accounting fgor only 2.36% of the label’s streams and 4% of their revenue.

We haven’t mentioned YouTube yet, and that’s how many people choose to listen to music. In fact, in terms of streams, it was the label’s second-largest percentage of the label’s streams, with 21.70%. However, they paid ridiculously little, $0.00069 per song. Even with a fifth of the label’s streams coming from YouTube, they only made 3.8% of their revenue via YouTube. Looks like Rob Scallon isn’t getting rich off YouTube alone. It’s interesting to see that the top ten streaming services account for 99% of all streaming revenue, and also of the top ten, Xbox Music pays the highest rate, at $0.03060. Check the whole chart out below.


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Categorised in: Streaming Music