Monday, Apr 19, 2021, 13:45 Economy

Apple Music: One Cent per Stream for Artists

In a letter to artists, Apple has explained in detail what happens with the monthly subscription fees for Apple Music - or more precisely, how high the income is for musicians. In particular, Apple emphasizes one difference compared to the competitor and market leader Spotify, namely the uniform payment model. Regardless of whether the user is an individual artist or a major label, and regardless of the country in which the user listens to music, the average payment is always around one cent per track played. However, Apple leaves it open how regular accounts differ from family accounts or Apple One. Since Apple talks about "depending on the selected plan", single subscriptions are above the mentioned value, other variants below.

Spotify: Hundreds of models side by side
At Spotify, the compensation model looks significantly different, because the subscription fees differ in the individual countries. If a customer subscribes in India (about $1.60) or Hungary (about $6), artists receive significantly less per stream. The choice of account, i.e. premium or free and ad-based, also plays a major role. There are no official figures, because labels also have room for negotiation. It is assumed that the entirety of Spotify streams comes to an average of 0.5 cents per playback - significantly more in rich countries, significantly less in weaker markets. Apple, on the other hand, emphasizes treating everyone the same way, which it sees as an important aspect of the platform as well as artistic freedom.

The eternal discussion: Discount Music?
At first glance, payments via the streaming platform seem extraordinarily low - after all, you pay 99 cents for a single track in the (iTunes) Music Store. Of this, the label receives between 60 and 70 cents - of which between five and nine cents go to contract musicians, depending on the agreement. However, for the first time in many years, the music industry's total revenues have increased significantly as a result of streaming. At $10 per month, the average user spends nearly twice as much money on music as in the pre-streaming era. According to Apple, the number of artists making $50,000 or more doubled since 2017.



While the one cent per stream seems very low, a song usually attracts more users as if there was a flat price to pay before listening. Discovering music is easier, multiple playback is also remunerated multiple times, although one-time listening earns very little. For musicians, therefore, the desired state would be that you buy an album, but then listen to it a lot via streaming - and, of course, to purchase merchandising items. To conclude, a successful YouTuber can earn between 0.2 and one cent per playback with a video that is more than 10 minutes long, depending on the industry he is in.

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