How much do music streaming services pay rights holders and how are these payments calculated? The Music Streaming Index examined this question.
Some territories (NO,US and PL) show a variety of different royalty values in any given month. For the Norwegian numbers and perhaps the Polish too, for which in some months there are up to 4 different values, it may represent subscribers to the older WIMP platform which was still running last year. It may also represent the subscription types. Tidal offers Hi-fidelity Subscription, Premium Subscription and also a free 1 month trial. All numbers are rounded up and down to 4 decimal places. The top paying streams from this data were from Norway in November 2015, though the Norwegian prices varied a lot. Over the period, listeners in the UK were particularly valuable with the lowest UK stream paying at $.0253 and the top stream paying at $.0309.
|Territory||Date of Stream||Pay Per Stream in US$|
|US||June 2015||.0117 / .023|
|NO||June 2015||.0265 / .0098|
|PL||July 2015||.0113 / .0074|
|US||July 2015||.0200 / .0115|
|US||August 2015||.0228 / .0143|
|US||September 2015||.0243 / .0259|
|PL||September 2015||.0135 / .0104|
|NO||September 2015||.0091 / .0161 /.0254|
|NO||November 2015||.0082 / .0142 / .0474 / .0521|
|US||November 2015||.0228 / .0134|
A month can make a great difference when it comes to streaming royalties. The graph above shows streams from Greece on the Akazoo platform. 100 streams in april 2015 would have generated $4.82 in royalties. 100 streams in February 2015 would have generated $1.32.
The table below shows Akazoo payments in Euros. The exchange rate (€ to US$ in this case) can effect the per stream rate received by artists and labels.
The graph above shows the value of Spotify premium streams, made in January 2016. Most territories from this data, show a per stream value around, or just above, the half a cent mark. Subscribers in New Zealand were particularly valuable to artists and labels in January with a return of 1.24 cents per stream.
Spotify Free users in the US were more valuable than free users elsewhere in the world in January 2016.
Qobuz UK paid $.027695 per play for streams made in May 2015.
The Best Per stream price received was made in Singapore (SG) in December 2014, which was $.021946. The lowest value streams ($.000151) were made in Singapore in September 2014. The significant price variations could reflect the free and subscription user accounts, as well as the relative subscription costs from territory to territory.
|Territory||Highest received Pay Per Stream in US$|
These values are taken from streams in June 2015. A single stream from Switzerland pays at over 10 times the price of a single stream from the Netherlands, and at over 16 times the price of a single stream from Italy.
|Territory||Pay Per Stream in US$|
The figures below are the mean values over a 6 month period (January – June 2015). Each mean is calculated from 2 or more monthly reports.
|Territory||Pay Per Stream in US$|
I have excluded streams that paid at $.0016 and below because they would have been made during the trial period, and therefore come in at a fraction of the paid subscription price. All streams were made in Q1 and Q2 2015. The UK has the best per stream rate. The top paying price from the UK was $.0311 per stream in March.
|Tidal Territory||Pay Per Stream in US$|
These are the highest prices reported by each store in the period between the 29th May 2015 and the 3rd of July 2015. The reports are for streams in March and April 2015 except KKBox and Nokia Mix Radio (October – December 2014) and Spinlet (January – March 2015).
|Streaming Platform||Pay Per Stream in US$|
|Nokia Mix Radio||.0022|
Spinlet pays an identical rate accross all territories. The latest report for Q1 2015 show streams from Mali (ML), Rwanda (RW), Jamaica (JM), Thailand (TH) and the USA (US) among others all paying an identical $.0038 price per stream for the quarter.
The default price of selling an album on itunes through Tunecore is $9.99. From one sale, at this price, a Tunecore artist receives $7.
The table below shows what a rights holder would have earned for a 12 track album play, and how many streams it would take on each platform to make a rights holder $7, and how many full album listens, of a 12 track album, will make $7 on each platform. $7 is the rights holders share of income from an album sale on iTunes.
The territory and level of subscription are important factors here, as ever. Most are the UK prices, except Juke (Italy), KKBox (Singapore), Wimp (Germany) and JB Hi-fi (Australia).
Nokia Mix Radio is not applicable because you can not stream an album on demand from this platform.
Spotify’s royalty formula is not used to calculate all prices as there is a fixed .00153 price that appears in reports every month from territories including Argentina (AR), Mexico (MX), Spain (ES), Italy (IT) and the Philippines (PH). Its regularity certainly indicates that it is a pre-agreed price, with the value for European nations in Euros, and rest of the world nations in US$. The Tunecore reports below show .00153 appearing between September 2014 and February 2015.
Spotify’s Royalty Formula:
- For Streams made between May 2014 and March 2015
|Account Territory/Type||Per Stream Royalty/Currency||Per Stream Mean Value in US$ (exchange rate 14/06/15)|
|UK Deezer Premium||€.0116376667||$.0131|
|UK Deezer Free||€.000376||$.0004|
|UK Google Play All Access||£.011821||$.0184|
|UK Xbox Music Pass||£.0553196||$.0861|
|AU JB Hifi||.0137386 AUD||$.0106|
|SG KKBox||.008372 SGD||$.0062|
|UK Sony Music Unlimited||£.0102842||$.0160|
|UK Spotify Premium||€.01117175||$.0125|
|UK Spotify Free||€.000511||$.0006|
|UK Spotify Capped Rate||€.00728475||$.0082|
|UK Rdio Web||£.0042125||$.0066|
|DE Wimp||.2938455 NOK||$.0378|
|Nokia Mix Radio||$.0027225||$.0028|
Table 1 : Per Stream Mean Values May 2014 – March 2015
These are the best pay per stream prices recieved from each of the streaming services in April and so far in May. Rara paid a staggeringly low $.0015 (667 plays needed to earn $1) , and KKbox’s payment on the 18th of May dates back to streams from July, August and September 2014.
|Streaming Platform||Price Per Stream in US$|
I can’t find a thorough and up to date list of on demand digital distribution options so here are all those that i know about: They are in no particular order.
Songflow (requires facebook login)
Thorn City Syndicate
Sam Ward Services
Raw Soul Media
Following the lengthy legal battles with the majors, Grooveshark services have ceased today with immediate effect. All active subscriptions have been cancelled.