Apple Music pays artists a penny per stream, roughly double what Spotify pays
Apple is paying artists roughly double what Spotify pays for music streams on Apple Music, with the iPhone maker expected to write to musicians on Friday to say it pays 52% of subscription revenue to record labels and other music right holders, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Apple’s letter comes amid a UK parliamentary inquiry into the economics of streaming, which seeks to find out how fairly music labels pay royalties to artists for streams on music subscription services.
According to the report, 52 cents of every dollar in revenue made from Apple Music is given back to the music rights holders, who then pay artists as per their individual distribution agreements.
Spotify has a much larger music subscriber base than Apple, with the company reportedly having 155 million paying subscribers and 345 million total users as of the end of 2020, compared to Apple Music’s last known 60 million subscribers, which included users on free trials.
As mentioned, it’s worth noting that the full penny won’t go directly to the artist. From this, record labels and publishers take a cut before the musicians are paid. In the letter, Apple says “We believe in paying every creator the same rate, that a play has a value, and that creators should never have to pay” for having their music featured.
Apple has reportedly paid out for more than 5 million recording artists worldwide in 2020, with the number of artists that generated recording and publishing royalties over $1 million per year increased over 120% since the year 2017.