2020 What Streaming Sites Pay Per Play (Best to Worse)


Updated 18/04/2020: New streaming sites pay rates have been released via the #Brocken Record and Mr Tom Gray. Check them out here:

A tweet from Deltaviolin then added a column to highlight how many streams an artist needs to earn one year’s worth of National wage:

Original Story: Amazon Music’s 70% subscriber growth from last year has put all of its competitors on notice, especially Jay-Z’s high fidelity streaming service Tidal. The Financial Times reported the company now has 32 million paid subscribers in an industry Goldman Sachs forecasts will reach $80 billion by 2030. 

Now for the main players in the space, Spotify’s premium worldwide paid subscriber base grew 32% year-over-year, while Apple Music increased its paid subscriber base by 50% in the same time frame. While the yearly growth percentages of Amazon Music’s competitors are lower, the actual number of subscribers is significantly higher, with Spotify and Apple globally at 100 million and 60 million respectively.

Why is the rise of Amazon music, not good news? The musician, the artist, the writer all suffer. Amazon pays less than Spotify per stream! The artist once again is shafted 

One of the first things we printed last year was, how much artists were paid in 2018 per stream, now thanks to those same sources from within the music business we can now give you the payout per stream for 2019.

This year to make understanding the payouts better,we have matched the number of plays needed to earn the minimum wage in the US (per month the average salary in the US is $1,472  this equates to £1164 per month)

Pandora had the highest per-play royalty rate. At $0.01682 per play, an independent artist would need around 87,515 plays to earn the US monthly minimum wage of $1,472.

YouTube had the worst per-stream payouts. At $0.00074 per stream, artists and content creators would make $1,472 after 1,989,189 million plays.

1) Napstar Is The King Of the Payout:

The service had paid $0.01682 per play. On average, Napster now pays out $0.019 per stream. To meet the monthly minimum wage amount in the US, an artist would need 77,474 total plays.

2) Tidal:
Nevertheless, the service had remained friendly to artists. The service reportedly paid out $0.01284 per stream earlier this year. That number has slightly fallen to $0.0125. Artists on TIDAL now need 117,760 total plays to earn $1,472.

3) Apple Music
Historically, Apple Music has paid artists much better than its streaming music rival, Spotify.

In 2017, the service paid $0.0064 per stream. That number rose earlier this year to $0.00783.

Today, that number has settled at $0.00735. Artists on Apple Music would need around 200,272 plays to earn the US monthly minimum wage amount.

4) Google Play Music (GPM)
In 2017, the service paid $0.0059 per play to artists. Earlier this year, and right behind Deezer, GPM paid $0.00611. That number now stands at $0.00676 per stream. Artists will need around 217,752 total streams to earn $1,472.

5) Deezer
Launching several years ago in the US, French-based streaming music service Deezer still doesn’t have an established presence in many countries outside of mainland Europe.

Last year, at $0.0056, the service topped GPM in terms of payouts. Earlier this year, Deezer paid $0.00624. That number has slowly risen to $0.0064, placing it right behind GPM. Artists will need 230,000 total plays to earn the US monthly minimum wage amount.

Deezer reportedly has 16 million users, with around 9.12 million – or 57% – paying for the service.

6) Spotify
Previously ranked as the service with one of the worst payouts, Spotify has steadily increased its per-stream rate.

Last year, the service paid out $0.0038 per play. Earlier this year, Spotify increased its per-stream payouts to $0.00397. The streaming music giant now reportedly pays $0.00437 per play. At $0.00473 per play, artists will need around 336,842 total plays to earn $1,472.

7) Pandora
Last September, Liberty Media’s SiriusXM finally purchased struggling digital radio service, Pandora Media.

The service has historically struggled to remain afloat. It’s also paid indie artists dismal amounts in terms of royalties.

Last year, despite having the second-highest amount of total users in the US, Pandora paid artists $0.0011 per play. Earlier this year, the digital radio service slightly increased that rate to $0.00134. The company has now settled at paying artists $0.00133 on Pandora Premium. Artists will now need 1,106,767 total plays on Pandora Premium just to earn $1,472.

8) Youtube
Historically, YouTube hasn’t ever been an artist-friendly platform, thanks to its horrendous payouts.

In 2017, the popular video platform paid $0.0006 per play. Earlier this year, the company increased its rate to $0.00074.

Executives have now pulled a U-Turn, choosing to pay artists $0.00069. To earn the monthly minimum wage amount in the US, artists will need around 2,133,333 total plays on YouTube.

New DATA : What one indie label earned from streaming.
Gathering its data from a single source – a mid-sized indie label with an approximately 250+ album catalog which generates almost 1 billion streams – The Trichodist has published its list of streaming music service payouts.

  • According to the data, Amazon Music Unlimited has the highest per-stream payout rate at $0.01175.
  • An artist would need around 125,277 plays to earn the US monthly minimum wage amount. Amazon’s platform only had a 0.68% share of all the label’s streams, generating 4.04% of all revenue earned
  • Napster came next, paying $0.01110 per play. Artists on Rhapsody’s streaming music service would need around 133,818 plays to earn $1,472. The service had a 0.14% share of all streams, generating 0.80% of all revenue earned.
  • TIDAL fell to third place, paying $0.00927 per play. Artists on Jay-Z’s beleaguered streaming music service would need around 158,792 plays to earn the monthly minimum wage amount. The service had a 0.21% share in the label’s streams, generating 0.98% of all revenue earned.
  • In fourth place, Deezer reportedly paid $0.00567 per stream. Artists on the platform would need around 259,612 plays to earn $1,472. The French-based service had a 0.91% share in streams, generating 2.6% of all revenue earned.
  • Google Play Music came behind Deezer, paying $0.00543 per play. Artists would need around 271,087 streams to earn the monthly minimum wage amount. The service had a 1.12% share in the label’s streams, generating 3.08% of all revenue earned.
  • Apple Music paid indie artists around $0.00495 per stream. Indie artists would need around 297,374 streams to earn $1,472. The service had a 9.95% share in overall streams, generating a significant 24.97% of all revenue earned.
  • Amazon Prime Music – labeled Amazon Digital Services – came in seventh place, paying $0.00395 per play. Artists would need around 372,658 plays on the platform to earn the US monthly minimum wage amount. The service had a 0.95% share in streams, generating a low 1.90% of all revenue earned.
  • Spotify came close behind Amazon Prime Music, reportedly paying $0.00311 per stream. At that rate, indie artists would need 472,312 streams to earn $1,472. The service had a whopping 29.22% share of all the label’s streams, generating 48.93% of all revenue.
  • Among the worst paying services, Pandora ranked in ninth place, paying $0.00155 per play. Artists would need 949,677 plays to earn the monthly minimum wage amount. The service had a 3.86% share in the label’s streams, and generated a dismal 3.03% of all revenue.
  • YouTube ranked as the worst offender, paying artists a dismal $0.00028 per play. An artist would need 5,257,143 plays to earn $1,472. In terms of all streams for the label, the service had a whopping 48.58% share, generating only 6.99% of all revenue.

The key takeaways.
At first glance, only one streaming music service paid more to the indie label: Amazon Music Unlimited.

Take Spotify, for example.

  • According to independent data, and as explained above, the streaming music giant pays $0.00437 per play. Yet, the company paid the label $0.00311 per stream. Spotify’s streams also accounted for nearly 30% of its billion streams.
  • Apple Music’s per-stream rate saw an even more dramatic drop for labels. In 2017, the service reportedly paid $0.00783. Last year, that number decreased to $0.00495.

Comparing both services’ payouts to independent labels,

“Apple Music still lead in the sweet spot with about 10% of overall streams generating 25% of all revenue (despite the per-stream rate drop). Spotify, by comparison, has nearly triple the market share in streams than Apple Music but generates less than double the revenues on that volume.”

Also, despite multiple denials of the ‘value gap,’ YouTube continues cheating the music industry in terms of fair payouts.

“The biggest takeaway by far is that YouTube’s Content ID, (in our first truly comprehensive data set) shows a whopping 48% of all streams generate only 7% of revenue. Read that again. This is your value gap. Nearly 50% of all recorded music streams only generate 7% of revenue.”

It also remains unclear how much streaming music services do pay major labels, which presumably take a higher percentage. Yet, from what we can tell, indies receive far, far less than major labels did.



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