Musicians say they’re not earning enough from music streaming services. But major streaming companies like Deezer, Spotify and Napster are still making a loss. So how much do musicians actually make from major streaming giants? And how does the size and popularity of a service impact the likelihood of musicians earning a living from it?
Information is Beautiful has released a new infograph showing how much major streaming services actually pay. It reflects their best efforts to amass per-stream data into one diagram. They compared eight major music streaming services: Napster, YouTube, Pandora, Apple Music, TIDAL, Google Play, Deezer, and Spotify.
The team tracked the following information:
- Artist revenue per play.
- Total users (millions) per platform.
- Percentage of free users on the platform.
- Plays needed to earn minimum monthly wage ($1,472).
- Total annual loss reported by the streaming platform.
- Annual loss per user.
Highest revenue per play:
1. Napster: $0.0167 per play
2. TIDAL: $0.0110 per play
3. Apple Music: $0.0064 per play
4. Google Play: $0.0059 per play
5. Deezer: $0.0056 per play
6. Spotify: $0.0038 per play
7. Pandora: $0.0011 per play
8. YouTube: $0.0006 per play
To reach minimum wage:
1. Napster: 90,000 plays
2. TIDAL: 130,000 plays
3. Apple Music: 230,000 plays
4. Google Play: 250,000 plays
5. Deezer: 260,000 plays
6. Spotify: 380,000 plays
7. Pandora: 1.2 million plays
8. YouTube: 2.4 million plays
Surprisingly, Napster topped this year’s list with the highest artist revenue paid out per play. For a single stream, Napster paid out $0.0167. Compared to its competitors, however, the platform has the second-lowest amount of total users: 5 million. So it can be difficult to scale that per-play number, but great if you assemble a core Napster following.