How Much Do Music Streaming Services Pay Musicians in 2023
In truth, there's no simple answer, but we'll try to explain how much your music could be earning in streaming royalties from platforms like Spotify, Apple Music and more as well as the different factors that affect royalty payments.
How much do music streaming services pay musicians?
Music streaming services like Apple Music, Deezer, Tidal, Napster, and Amazon don’t have a fixed “pay-per-stream” rate when it comes to paying out music royalties to artists. While Spotify doesn't either, there has been plenty of unofficial data published on how much Spotify pays per stream as well as Apple Music's par pay stream rate in the past few years.
There are lots of factors that affect how much money one stream is worth in royalties. The main ones include:
This makes things complicated when trying to predict what you'll earn in streaming royalties. It's just about impossible to accurately calculate exactly how much you’ll make from a certain number of streams, as all these factors need to be into account.
This study based on information collected from real musicians and third-party websites provides a general look at the estimated royalties currently being paid out to artists in the USA by the world’s biggest music streaming platforms. Using this data we’ve created a music streaming royalty calculator.
Music Streaming Royalties Calculator
Just choose a music platform, enter your predicted streams and check out the estimated royalties total in US dollars.
IMPORTANT: THE ESTIMATED ROYALTIES PREDICTED BY THIS CALCULATOR WILL NOT BE 100% ACCURATE. IT IS BASED ON FIGURES FROM THE USA, SO ACTUAL PAYOUTS WILL VARY, PARTICULARLY FROM STREAMS GENERATED IN OTHER COUNTRIES. MANY FACTORS AFFECT STREAMING ROYALTIES AND THIS SHOULD ONLY BE USED AS A GUIDE.
Of course, the royalty figure you get here won’t be an exact match to your real-life royalty statements due to the unpredictable nature of streaming payouts. But it does offer a nice ball-park figure to help you understand how much your streams are generally worth.
As you can see, some music services pay out more than others. But keep in mind that some platforms with lower royalty rates may have more users and a wider reach. So a stream from certain platforms might actually be worth more in terms of reach, exposure and building your profile.
If you’re interested, here are the estimated “per-stream” figures our calculator is based on.
While these numbers might give a vague idea of music streaming royalties in the United States, it’s important not to think about streaming services solely as money-making platforms.
As you can see from our calculator, it takes a lot of streams to start earning the big bucks - not that it's not possible! There are loads of independent artists out there doing huge streaming numbers and making a good living solely through streaming royalties.
However, when you release music on Spotify, Apple Music and other streaming platforms, they offer a direct route to new and current fans. Exposure like this is a stepping stone to success.
Want the latest Unsigned Advice?
Subscribe to our mailing list to get tips, tricks and hacks straight to your inbox!