Spotify, Apple, And Music Streaming Royalty Rates: Fact Vs. Fiction

Spotify, Apple, And Music Streaming Royalty Rates: Fact Vs. Fiction

Written by Jaron Lewis

Music streaming royalties can seem impossibly confusing to figure out. Companies only offer you fractions of a penny for each play and the numbers can get rather confusing. How do you know which site is best for your material?

How do you know you're getting paid what you are worth? We’ve sifted through all the complicated information to present you with what’s fact and what’s fiction in the world of music streaming royalties.

Fiction: All Streaming Sites Pay You The Same Amount

Each streaming sites offers a different compensation per user listen to each song. These are your royalties. There isn't a regulated rate that all sites offer and their rates tend to change each year.


Fact: Apple Was Said To Pay Their Artists The Most In 2016

In 2016, Apple paid their artists about $0.00735 per listen to their song. This is higher than most streaming services offer. For example, Spotify only pays their artists $0.00437 per listen for their songs. This number can seem really low if you’re new to the music streaming scene, but the listens really add up quickly. If your song is popular, it can be played multiple times by the same person, earning you more money.

Because you're uploading the songs directly onto the streaming service, you save more money in distribution, as online distribution tends to be free. When you aren't spending as much to get your song out there, the royalties seem even higher. You want to be sure to put most of your efforts into the site that pays you the most.

Fiction: Streaming Sites Will Offer You The Same Payment Each Time

Just like with every creative endeavor, the rates streaming sites pay you per listen will change based on the fluctuations in the music industry. For example, back in 2014, Spotify offered $0.00521, which is much higher than the $0.00437 they offered in 2016. When choosing the streaming site on which to focus your efforts, pay attention to the fluctuations in the market.

Fact: A Streaming Site’s Popularity Can Make A Difference In Your Royalties

If you choose a less popular streaming site, not only will it affect the traffic your music sees, but it can also affect how much the site is willing to pay you in royalties. If they aren't a high traffic streaming service, they won't have a high budget to work with for royalties.

However, if the site has decent traffic but not as many artists, you can hit a sweet spot with the royalties they will offer. Given that they have a higher budget and less people to pay, you can really clean up.

Getting your music in a Spotify or Apple Music playlist could be harder than getting it in one on Deezer or a less popular streaming site, but in the end you'd make more money off the song people there's a heavier listener base.

Liken it to getting shelf space at a Target or Wal-Mart vs. a Mom and Pop shop.

In Conclusion

The world of music streaming services can seem complicated and all the fractions of cents you're being paid can get confusing, but we’re here to help. We sifted through the information so you didn't have to and came up with a list of facts and fictions about the streaming service industry to help you get off to a great start.




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