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In a letter slated to be shared with artists today through the Apple Music for Artists dashboard, obtained by The Wall Street Journal, Apple has reportedly revealed that it pays music rights holders one cent per song streamed on Apple Music.

apple-music.jpg

The report claims that Apple Music's payment structure is thus roughly double what Spotify pays music rights holders per stream, which averages to about one-third to one-half penny per stream, although the report cites music industry experts who say that Apple Music's payments can dip lower. Apple Music's payments come directly from the service's subscription-based revenue from customers, the report adds.

In the letter, Apple says it pays 52% of subscription revenue, or 52 cents of every dollar, to record labels and other music rights holders, according to the report. These music rights holders in turn pay artists based on their recording, publishing, and distribution agreements, so artists might not receive the entire cent per stream.

"As the discussion about streaming royalties continues, we believe it is important to share our values," Apple said in the letter, the report says. "We believe in paying every creator the same rate, that a play has a value, and that creators should never have to pay" for their music to be featured in prominent sections of the Apple Music app.

Spotify has significantly more users than Apple Music worldwide, with 155 million paying subscribers and 345 million total users as of the end of 2020. Apple Music's last known subscriber count is around 60 million, including those on a free trial, but Apple has not provided an updated figure in nearly two years now.

Article Link: Apple Music Tops Spotify With One Cent Paid Per Stream
 
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MauiPa

macrumors 68000
Apr 18, 2018
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ArtOfWarfare

macrumors G3
Nov 26, 2007
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Exactly why I won't use Spotify. They are the biggest by so much, where do they spend the money they don't pay artists? Not in quality software, must be CEO pay and such.
Two other possible explanations:

1. The article mentions that Apple's payments can drop below 1/3 of a cent per stream. So Apple pays a much wider range than Spotify does. Maybe Apple is working out sweetheart deals where they pay a few top artists a lot more per stream than everyone else. Or maybe they're doing the opposite, making sure that everyone receives a minimal amount. Or maybe it's something more along the lines of paying artists per streamed minute rather than per streamed song.

2. AM users might just listen a lot less than Spotify users do. Both cost about the same amount per month, so if one had significantly fewer streams per user, they'd be able to pay a lot more per individual stream.
 
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ArtOfWarfare

macrumors G3
Nov 26, 2007
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do some math. If you bought an Album and played it only 30 times with an average of 15 songs, that is $4.50 directly to artist. In traditional CD sales "Artists can receive 10% – 15% of suggested album retail minus packaging costs." https://www.recordingconnection.com...epreneurs/how-do-record-labels-turn-a-profit/

So that is $1.50 on a $15 Album

Further, this model is a lot better than CD sales because it encourages people to make good songs that people listen to multiple times, and not crap that people listen to once or twice then regret owning.
 
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darkcompass

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Aug 22, 2018
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do some math. If you bought an Album and played it only 30 times with an average of 15 songs, that is $4.50 directly to artist. In traditional CD sales "Artists can receive 10% – 15% of suggested album retail minus packaging costs." https://www.recordingconnection.com...epreneurs/how-do-record-labels-turn-a-profit/

So that is $1.50 on a $15 Album
Yes, those maths sound alright, but artists would have to wait until you've listened the album 30 times, before getting that revenue, and how long is that going to take. I think they would prefer the $1.50 in their pocket from you as soon as possible, so they can get on with things.

The lower the pay per stream value is, the lower audiences, labels, and services value the music itself. It just becomes a product to shift.
 
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Zadigre

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Aug 7, 2011
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benshive

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Feb 26, 2017
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It sucks artists are paid so little for their music and as a result need to rely on shows for income when they can't really play shows right now. A band I really enjoy has had to start a Patreon for support since the start of the pandemic :confused:
 
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MauiPa

macrumors 68000
Apr 18, 2018
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Still doesnt beat Napster at tuppence a stream, come on Apple, play/pay like you have a pair.
I guess it depends where you get your information from.

here:
1618581870849.png



Napster is well below the $.01 cent, so Apple Music does beat Napster handily. Curious why Apple Music shows $.0073 not the $.01 though. So can it be said that unless the streaming services provide full disclosure, we might not actually know?
 
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NotTooLate

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Jun 9, 2020
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Yes, those maths sound alright, but artists would have to wait until you've listened the album 30 times, before getting that revenue, and how long is that going to take. I think they would prefer the $1.50 in their pocket from you as soon as possible, so they can get on with things.

The lower the pay per stream value is, the lower audiences, labels, and services value the music itself. It just becomes a product to shift.
There is no doubt in my mind that ive listened to MUCH more music with streaming services then I ever did with CD`s , so overall artists are getting much more money from me personally , overall I would argue that streaming is better business then CD sales , for the biggest artists it might be a different math , but I got to listen to artists that I will Never thought about buying their creations before I had a streaming service that lets me listen to whatever I decide at the same price per month (on my end).

Some of the artists are multi millionaires and to them the "delayed" payment is a non issue , for the smaller artists I believe streaming service is a blessing as more ppl listen to more music then ever , so greater chance to break out and make it big.
 
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yaxomoxay

macrumors demi-god
Mar 3, 2010
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Texas
do some math. If you bought an Album and played it only 30 times with an average of 15 songs, that is $4.50 directly to artist. In traditional CD sales "Artists can receive 10% – 15% of suggested album retail minus packaging costs." https://www.recordingconnection.com...epreneurs/how-do-record-labels-turn-a-profit/

So that is $1.50 on a $15 Album

artists are not receiving the full $4.50... there are still producers, distributors, etc to pay.
I think that the true power of Apple Music and Spotify is that it allows users to find more music that otherwise they would not regularly purchase, which drives more money to artists in general.
I am sure that I am not the only one that randomly finds an interesting song (maybe heard it on tv etc.) by someone I don't even know, starts listening to it, then listens to more songs by the same artist and then just moves to similar artists for a while.
 
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genovelle

macrumors 65816
May 8, 2008
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It doesn’t matter who pays more. Audience coverage matters. Apple Music sucks here compared to Spotify.
Huh?! What good is audience if you are not getting paid for it. Keep in mind the biggest audience is on the free tier where Spotify doesn’t pay even that amount.
 
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Expos of 1969

macrumors regular
Mar 24, 2021
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While the streaming services deserve some criticism, what artists receive is based on the contracts they have with labels. It is an age old problem that some artists get screwed by the labels. The whole system needs to be revamped from the ground up but power rules the day.

While Apple are no saints Spotify's CEO Daniel Ek is a real piece of work. His contract guarantees huge payments to him basically for life, even after he leaves Spotify. If you saw Spotify's recent live streaming event where they announced the upcoming better sound and more podcasts and creators of audio (note: music was not mentioned) you will get my point.. It was a very distasteful presentation and the term monetization was repeated and repeated as was the term growth. Popular service with playlist fans but if you care about artists, music and the album concept, get out now. I have recently done so. Other opinions are of course equally valid.
 
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jsmith189

macrumors 68000
Jan 12, 2014
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It doesn’t matter who pays more. Audience coverage matters. Apple Music sucks here compared to Spotify.

Wow this is a terrible take lol. “I’m giving you an audience so just be grateful for the crumbs I throw your way.”

Sometimes I think we forget that musician is a job for some, and not everyone is a huge artist that this doesn’t affect. Especially now. Audience can mainly convert to money when they’re touring, and when you’re in the middle of a panorama...
 
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69Mustang

macrumors 604
Jan 7, 2014
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In between a rock and a hard place
Huh?! What good is audience if you are not getting paid for it. Keep in mind the biggest audience is on the free tier where Spotify doesn’t pay even that amount.
More important to keep in mind is Apple's rate is reportedly an "up to" rate, not an absolute. Same goes for Spotify and everyone else. Also, omitted from MR's post, but noted elsewhere:
"Apple's letter specifies that it pays 52% of all its subscription Apple Music revenues to the record labels. Spotify's payments are more complex, as that service includes both subscribers and an ad-supported free tier.

According to The Wall Street Journal, Spotify at times will pay approximately the same, or even slightly more, at 50% to 53%. However, on average, Spotify is paying around half of that Apple does — per stream." - AppleInsider
Again, not an absolute rate.

Something else to keep in mind. A rights holder can still make more with Spotify simply based on volume since Spotify has a larger audience even without the free tier.
 
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Herrpod

macrumors 6502a
May 29, 2019
783
1,493
Keep the money and use it to pay some app developers who aren't incompetent. Apple Music apps are the worst. Also, artists hate the amount of money they get paid from Apple as well. Everyone is doing a horrible job here.
 
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dmylrea

macrumors 68040
Sep 27, 2005
3,400
4,446
Is it out of the realm of possibilities that worldwide, top songs are played 1,000,000 times a day? That's $10,000 per day @ 1 cent, $5,000 @ 1/2 cent. PER DAY. I don't feel too sad for artists.
 
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citysnaps

macrumors 604
Oct 10, 2011
7,226
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San Francisco
There is no doubt in my mind that ive listened to MUCH more music with streaming services then I ever did with CD`s , so overall artists are getting much more money from me personally , overall I would argue that streaming is better business then CD sales , for the biggest artists it might be a different math , but I got to listen to artists that I will Never thought about buying their creations before I had a streaming service that lets me listen to whatever I decide at the same price per month (on my end).

Some of the artists are multi millionaires and to them the "delayed" payment is a non issue , for the smaller artists I believe streaming service is a blessing as more ppl listen to more music then ever , so greater chance to break out and make it big.

Same here, wouldn't be shocked if it's 100x more.
 
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Expos of 1969

macrumors regular
Mar 24, 2021
225
532
Then of course there is the many fake artists and streaming farms which Spotify neglects to crack down on as they get a nice cut of these shenanigans. A bit similar perhaps to Apple letting a lot of crap happen in its App store due to the nice cut they take :(
 
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