Just How Much are Artists Making Off of Streaming Platforms?
Music streaming platforms have rearranged the landscape of generating revenue in the music industry.
While record labels and streaming platforms duke it out for the bottom line, it’s the musical content powering the whole streaming-machine. So what does the artist take home at the day’s end?
It amounts to a fraction of a penny per stream.
According to Information is Beautiful, Napster generated the most revenue per-play of major music streaming services with $0.0167 a stream . On the other side of the spectrum we see YouTube clocking in at $0.0006 per play.
That means an artist intending to generate music on YouTube would need 2.4 million plays to earn minimum wage ($1,472), while in contrast that play count drops to 90k for musicians on Napster.
Tidal comes in at second paying out $0.0110 per play, followed by Apple Music ($0.0064), Google Play ($0.0059) and new kid Deezer ($0.0056).
Rounding out the list are a couple streaming music providers with substantially large user bases, Spotify ($0.0038) and Pandora ($0.0011). The former holds a 140 million user base, the later has 81 million.
YouTube boasts a massive active user base of over 1 billion. When compared to the now-seemingly meager 5 million users on Napster, a trend begins to emerge: streaming providers with large user bases tend to divvy out less per stream. (Napster is also a subscription-based service so that may be another factor to consider, compared to YouTube’s ad-based revenue model).
But at the end of the day, it’s a business. A very liquid, ever-changing and unpredictable business.