Apple Podcasts Subscriptions vs. Spotify Paid Subscriptions vs. Patreon – creator fees compared

How do the creator fees for Apple Podcasts Subscriptions, Spotify Paid Subscriptions and Patreon stack up for podcasters?

Last month, both Apple and Spotify revealed plans for their upcoming podcast subscription models. Both Apple’s Podcasts Subscriptions and Spotify’s Paid Subscriptions work in a similar way to Patreon, allowing creators to sign up and offer exclusive content in exchange for monthly payments. How do these three services’ fees stack up against each other?

These numbers are minus any taxes or tranaction fees, as these vary by region. As Apple and Spotify’s platforms are yet to be publicly available, numbers may change prior to release. We’ll have to wait until these platforms launch until we can truely compare the features of each.

Following are the platform fees/cuts.

Apple Podcasts Subscriptions
  • $19.99 (US) per year, plus
  • 30% for the first year
  • 15% for following years

Example of earning $1000 per year:

Spotify Paid Subscriptions
  • 0% until 2023
  • 5% from 2023

Example of earning $1000 per year:

  • 5% for Lite plan
  • 8% for Pro plan
  • 12% for Premium plan

Example of earning $1000 per year:

Musicians Ask Spotify Abandon Speech Recognition Patent

Image credit: Toru Yamanaka/AFP/GETTY IMAGES

Those that have penned the open letter include Tom Orello, Talib Kweli, and DIIV.

The patent that was filed back in 2018 is a voice recognition system that could detect the emotional state, age, and gender of a person. It would then take that information and target the listener with personalised recommendations and personalized advertisements. Naturally, such a technology has made some people feel uncomfortable, however, this technology is already being used by companies such as Vevo. There is also an AI owned by Mirriad that “scans content for its emotional register moment by moment” allowing for them to place products “exactly the right place at the right time”. 

The non-profit company Access Now has sent Spotify a letter calling it to abandon its tech. This has now been backed up by several other groups as well as more than 180 musicians, including Rage Against the Machines Tom Morello and rapper Talib Kweli. They have been asking that Spotify publicly abandon the patent and commit to never using it. 

The letter directly addressed to Spotify CEO Daniel Ek outlines the five primary concerns with the technology. Stating that Spotify, or any other company that could use it, would manipulate users emotionally, harvest their personal information, and discriminate against Trans and Non-Binary people. The letter also claims that the technology will only further worsen financial inequalities within the music industry. The letter gives Mr. Ek till May 18th, 2021 to publicly respond.   

Twitter partner with Billboard to launch ‘Hot Trending’ chart

The upcoming ‘Billboard Hot Trending’ chart will highlight the most talked-about songs over the past 24 hours on the social network.

Announced earlier this week at NewFronts, Billboard Hot Trending is being touted as a first-of-its-kind, tracking music buzz online. Instead of a weekly chart that lists the most played/downloaded songs in a week, the new Hot Trending chart will show the most talked about new and classic songs across music-related trends and conversation on Twitter, updated every 24 hours. This could range from buzz around a new release, award show and festival moments, music nostalgia trends, TV and film features, and more.

Tracking what people are talking about and not necessarily what they’re listening to is certainly an interesting idea. According to Twitter’s head of entertainment partnerships Sarah Rosen, music is the most talked-about topic on Twitter worldwide. The Billboard Hot Trending chart will be supported with video content, consistent editorial coverage and organic support from A-list music stars.

At the NewFronts event, Twitter also announced a number of other partnerships that will lead to new features on the platform over the next year, as the social platform makes a push into video content.

One such partnership is with song lyrics and musical knowledge site Genius. Twitter will bring Genius’ show Verified, where artists break down the meaning of their songs, to fans around the world. They will implement Twitter polls, fan Q&As and more into the show. The announcement also highlighted a number of sports and gaming partnerships with the likes of Tencent owned video game developer and esports organizer Riot Games.

Twitter is home to the most vibrant, diverse communities and the place where fandom thrives. The premium content we’re collaborating on with our partners is igniting passion and enabling marketers to tap into the excitement of those communities and be a part of what’s happening.

Jennifer Prince, Global VP and Head of Content Partnerships, Twitter

See YouTube’s latest stats revealed at this year’s NewFronts.

You can now set Deezer as Siri’s default streaming service on Apple’s HomePod

Image Credit: Deezer

The latest update to the music streaming service allows you to play Deezer hands free on HomePod and HomePod mini.

Following the release of iOS 14.5, you can now ask Siri on your iPhone to play music and set a preferred third-party streaming service such as Spotify, YouTube Music or Deezer. No more do you have to specify the service, such as “Hey Siri, play … on Spotify”.

Owners of the HomePod mini have been able to set a default third-party music streaming service for some time now, but until now, only Pandora utilised this abaility.

According to Deezer, 70% of smart speaker owners use voice controls to regularly play music. Today, Deezer subscribers will be able to play music, from Deezer’s catalogue of 73 million tracks, on HomePod mini and the (now discontinued) original HomePod. Once connected, you’ll simply be able to ask Siri to play any track, artist, album, favourite or playlist, by saying “Hey Siri, play my Flow” for example. You can also like, dislike, repeat or shuffle the music, totally hands free.

The new feature also applies to FLAC and high quality music streamed via Deezer HiFi. This will let subscribers play high fidelity music from the original HomePod or the small but impressively powerful HomePod mini.

The update is available for Premium, HiFi, Family and Student members in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Mexico, Spain, UK and USA. Make sure you’re on iOS 14.3 or above and the latest HomePod software. To get started, head to the Deezer app and connect your account with your speaker in the settings.

HomePod owners can continue to play music from any music source on an iPhone using AirPlay 2, but this update removes that extra step.

Our listeners don’t have to compromise on audio quality thanks to HomePod. HiFi users can still enjoy all of their favorite tunes in true lossless audio. But, don’t worry, even if you don’t have HiFi, Deezer on Apple HomePod is the perfect at home companion when you need to multitask or want to give your eyes and fingers a break.

Nicolas Pinoteau, Director of Partnership Solutions, Deezer

Click here to see Apple’s HomePod mini, Google’s Nest Audio and Amazon’s Echo $100 smart speakers compared.

Square’s 80% stake in Jay-Z’s TIDAL has been finalized for $302 million

Image Credit: Jay-Z

Square’s majority stake along with the artist co-owners’ 20% stake, value the music streaming service at around $377.5 million.

Digital payments company Square’s CEO Jack Dorsey and TIDAL owner Jay-Z confirmed the deal worth $297 million in March earlier this year. This news and another deal for rapper Shawn ‘Jay-Z’ Carter, saw his net worth jump by 40% up to around $1.4 billion.

The 80% sale was finalized last week for $302 million. More than 5 times the $56.2 million Jay-Z paid for TIDAL (then WiMP) in 2015. However this most recent valuation at roughly $377.5 million, is around half the $600 million enterprise valuation achieved in 2017, when Sprint acquired a 33% minority stake for $200 million.

The remaining 20% stake will be held by the existing artist co-owners, including: Alicia Keys, Arcade Fire’s Win Butler and Regine Chassagne, Beyoncé, Calvin Harris, Coldplay’s Chris Martin, Daft Punk, Damian Marley, deadmau5, Indochine, J. Cole, Jack White, Jason Aldean, Kanye West, Lil Wayne, Madonna, Nicki Minaj, Rihanna, T.I. and Usher. According to TMZ, following the acquisition, Jay-Z and Roc Nation CEO Desiree Perez will stay on the TIDAL board.

TIDAL’s previous parent company Project Panther Bidco’s latest financial filing reveal the streaming platform generated $166.9 million in 2019, up 26.4% YoY, which represents an operating loss in 2019 of $55.3 million.

This news comes as TIDAL publish a new advert, claiming the streaming service pays out 4 times more than its competition.

Image Credit: TIDAL

Don’t take this claim at face value. According to The Trichordist’s stats published in March last year, TIDAL’s pay-per-stream rate was higher than most, at roughly $0.00876, while competition from Spotify for example was at $0.00348. This is misleading, as TIDAL does not offer a free tier, so naturally their payout averages significantly higher. TIDAL’s Average Revenue Per User (ARPU) is also higher due to their HiFi tier, which costs $19.99, rather than the $9.99 of their base level Premium tier. When compared to other premium-only music streaming services such as Apple Music, their payout closely lines up with these rivals. Apple Music recently said in an open letter, they pay artists an average of 1 cent per stream.

Pandora’s users continue to drop as SiriusXM publish their Q1 2021 earnings

Image Credit: Pandora

SiriusXM’s Q1 2021 financial results show Pandora’s continued drop in monthly active users and ad-supported listener hours.

Music streaming platform Pandora, owned by satellite and online radio service SiriusXM had 55.9 million monthly active listeners by the end of the first quarter 2021. This is down from 60.9 million in Q1 2020. Pandora peaked in 2014 with 81.5 million MAUs. That’s a drop of nearly a third over the past seven years, thanks to heavy competition in music streaming from the likes of Spotify and Apple Music.

Pandora’s advertising business saw growth in 2021, with ad revenues up 29% year-on-year to $312 million, despite ad-supported listener hours dropping by 8.3% to 2.87 billion. On another positive note, Pandora saw 113,000 net new self-pay subscribers to its Pandora Plus and Pandora Premium tiers during Q1 2021. Bringing the total number of paying subscribers to 6.4 million.

“Pandora’s tremendous scale remains the cornerstone of our success in ad sales. And while Pandora engagement overall remains a challenge, we do see encouraging growth in the use of Pandora in vehicles.”

“We recognize that the losses in the listeners are not where we want to be, and we’re extremely focused on that. We have a number of initiatives in place to deliver more and better content, more relevant recommendations and improving the Pandora digital experience in the apps.”

Jennifer Witz, CEO, SiriusXM in the earnings call

As reported in their Q4 2020 earnings, Pandora left 2020 with less listeners than they entered it with.

Pandora recently updated their app with widget support for iOS and iPadOS.

Get your own music on Pandora for free.

London Grammar release meditative and mindfulness mixes of Californian Soil exclusively on Calm

English indie pop band London Grammar team up with meditation app Calm for three exclusive remixes of tracks from their latest album.

Calm, the meditation app designed to help with sleep, stress and anxiety, recently worked with London Grammar, along with their labels Sony Music and Ministry of Sound, for reworks of three songs from the band’s third album Californian Soil. The tracklist is as follows:

  • All My Love (Hannah Calm Mix)
  • Californian Soil (Dan Calm Mix)
  • Lord It’s A Feeling (Dot Calm Mix)

Each track is 15, 30 and 60 minutes respectively. Click here to stream the mixes.

London Grammar aren’t the first band to have worked with the meditation app, with other artists like Diplo, Harry Styles and Kygo working with Calm last year.

Downloads for Calm have soared since the start of the pandemic, with more than 100 million downloads and over 100,000 new users a day. Calm is free for 7 days then $69.99 annually or $399.99 for life.

Spotify Hits One Billion Android Installations

Image credit: Cezar Sampaio

Spotify has passed one billion downloads on Android, doubling in two years.

Spotify is dominating the android landscape as it surpasses an impressive one billion downloads. A massive factor for this is their long-term partnership with Samsung, whose Galaxy devices come with Spotify as the default music player. When the partnership was first announced Spotify also offered a six-month free trial with their service for all Samsung customers. 

Although other options (such as Deezer, Amazon Music, and Apple Music) are available on their devices Spotify continues to be the most used. 

It’s also worth noting that 40% of Spotify Premium users hail from Europe, where Android is the most popular operating system outside of the United States. The streaming service reported that they had 356 million monthly active users in Q1 2021, and boasted a three million increase in paid users. 

Spotify’s service has expanded and diversified in recent years by boosting its podcast portfolio, rivaling Apple Music & Podcasts. As well as announcing their Hi-Fi Streaming tier that will be arriving later this year. 

Apple Music Hi-Fi Tier Rumoured To Appear Within Weeks and Will Launch With AirPods 3

Image credit: Lala AzizliHire

Apple Music are planning to launch their high-fidelity audio streaming tier in conjunction with the AirPods 3.

There are strong rumours that Apple Music is planning to launch a lossless, his fidelity audio streaming tier, at no extra cost. In addition to this, they are apparently aiming to launch the AirPods 3 at the same time. The rumour comes from MacRumors, a trustworthy source when it comes to Apple news. 

According to Hits Daily Double, another reputable Apple news and rumor source explained that Apple Music’s Hi-Fi will be a new tier but will still be $9.99 a month, the same price as the current plan. This suggests that the extra Hi-Fi quality will be a free upgrade for users. 

Spotify recently announced their own version of this called Spotify Hi-Fi, but it would come at an extra cost, similar to Amazon Music’s Unlimited. Other streaming services that already offer this are Deezer, Tidal, and Qobuz

Apple Music streaming currently maxes out at 256kbps AAC, which is very clear but is still compressed. If you’re an audiophile with high-end speakers or headphones, you’ll be able to notice the difference between that and CD/studio quality. 

If Apple Music has this tier at no extra cost it would put them above their competition and bring more users to their platform. It’s a massive marketing win where the company and the listener benefit. Either way, it’s exciting for music fans who use streaming, the competition between the streaming services will hopefully bring high-quality audio to the forefront. Also if this can come at no extra cost, even better. 

It’s likely that Apple will announce their new streaming tier and AirPods 3 at this year’s WWDC 2021 software showcase, which takes place at the start of June.

Apple also recently announced in an open letter that they will be paying artists 1p per stream.

Pandora’s new widget for iOS and iPadOS gives streamers quick access to music and podcasts

Available today, Pandora’s latest update gives iOS and iPadOS users quick access to music and podcasts right from the home screen.

Apple introduced widgets to the home screen of iPhones and iPads last year, with the launch of iOS 14 and iPadOS 14. Last week, Pandora released an update to the US-only music streaming app, bringing widgets.

There are three sizes available to choose from, displaying up to 7 of your most recently-played songs, albums, stations, playlists and podcasts. Simply tap the art to jump straight to the release.

How to add the Pandora widget to your home screen:

  • Make sure you’re on iOS 14/iPadOS 14, the latest version of Pandora and that you’ve recently launched the app
  • Long press on anywhere on the home screen until the apps start to jiggle.
  • Tap the plus in the upper left corner
  • Search for Pandora
  • Slide to the left and right to pick the size you want
  • Tap Add Widget
  • Hold and drag the widget to position it where you’d like, or place it on top of another widget to form/add to a stack
  • Tap Done in the upper right corner once you’re happy with it

Pandora’s widget joins the likes of Apple Music, Spotify, Deezer and YouTube Music, giving users quick access to music.

Get your own music on Pandora, free of charge.