How much do streaming services really pay artists?

One of the biggest controversies with music’s newly dominating platform, streaming, is its royalties to artists – but how much do they actually pay?

It’s a common complaint that streaming services don’t pay out enough, but then other artists claim they make their entire living from Spotify and multiple giant services like Spotify and Deezer are unable to make a profit due to high payouts to labels (that the artists often don’t see much of). So how much are artists getting?

A new graph from informationisbeautiful shows what services are currently paying out along with how many users they have and the company’s own performance to put it into perspective.

The most revealing results confirm that YouTube is still the lowest by a giant margin for payouts per stream, whilst Pandora only slightly beats them out. Napster is the leader in artist royalties paying out an incredible $0.0167 which is over 0.005 higher than Tidal’s, which claimed to be a streaming service for artists.

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We have an updated post for 2020 which you can find here.

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