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Streaming has become the most popular form of music consumption in recent years, accounting for roughly 64% of all recorded music revenues according to the RIAA US sales database.

One of the most common questions, especially for musicians, is how those revenues are broken down, and how much each artist gets paid per stream. Though that number differs with every streaming service, most artists are in agreement that it's not nearly enough.

The most popular service, Spotify, accounts for over 44% of the market share. However, despite how favorable it is with consumers, the streaming giant pays an average of only $0.00348 per stream, according to data sourced from The Trichordist. To put that into perspective, an artist earning three tenths of a cent per stream would make about $3,300 to $3,500 per million streams. Undoubtedly a pretty staggering statistic to think about, but Spotify is only the tip of the iceberg.

Some of the company’s competitors—such as Apple Music and YouTube—are in the same payout range, with the former paying roughly double at $0.006 per stream and the latter only remitting a third of what Spotify does at approximately $0.001.

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2019 breakdown of revenue per stream.. 

2019 breakdown of revenue per stream.. 

Surprisingly, Facebook, YouTube Red, and Peloton are among the highest payers, with Peloton topping the list at $0.03 per stream. iHeartRadio, Telecom Italia S.p.A, and iMusica are also in the one cent per stream range, but collectively only hold around 0.2% of the market share. 

The Trichordist collected the aggregate data from 2019-2020, detailing each streaming service's payouts and market share on the basis of a mid-tier independent record label that would generate roughly 1.5 billion streams per year in total. 

The full study can be read via The Trichordist's report



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