How much does Apple Music pay artists?

Image Credit: Apple Music

Working out exactly how much streaming services pay artists is a tricky task. How much money do musicians make from Apple Music, for example?

Back in April 2021, Apple Music proudly announced that it pays a penny per stream. The declaration was made in an open letter which came in the wake of the launch of rival Spotify’s “Loud and Clear” website – Spotify’s attempt to be transparent about how much it pays artists. Apple Music’s $0.01 per stream claim was two to three times more than the “Loud and Clear” calculations.

$0.01-a-stream is an average, as Apple Music operates a pro rata payment model – royalties go into one pot and are divvied up accordingly. That penny is then split between rights holders – labels, publishers, distributors, and then the artists themselves.

The fact that Apple Music only offers a paid model, rather than Spotify’s free tier, means their payments will certainly be bigger than Spotify. Apple Music’s royalty share meanwhile matches Spotify – with about a 52% revenue share, or 52 cents per $1 going to labels, regardless of size or if they’re independent or a major label.

When talking about how much Apple Music pays artists the company carefully doesn’t mention how things are divvied up when it comes to its Family and Student subscriptions. Working out the exact amount streaming services pay artists is a complex task; there’s further factors to take into consideration such as what territory the listener lives in, and whether they have a premium or ad-supported free account.

Uncertainty around exactly how much artists are paid per stream is balanced by the ease of access to streaming – meaning that independent artists can get their music heard by more potential fans than ever before. RouteNote offers free digital music distribution for musicians, producers and labels to streaming services including Apple Music.

RouteNote Stores

You’re free to come and go at any time and always keep total control over your releases. RouteNote can get your music onto all the major streaming platforms and stores, releasing your tracks to the world so that people can start discovering your music.


Want to get your music on Apple Music, for free? Find out more here, and sign up to RouteNote today.

I write about music for RouteNote, sharing fun stuff, news, and tips and tricks for musicians and producers. Also a saxophonist and hater of marmalade.

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