How To Maximize Your Gains From Your Music Streams. Find Out How Much Different Streaming Services Pay
Some years back, if you wanted to listen to your favorite song, you had to walk into the store and get the record or listen to the radio all day hoping you get to hear it. How things have changed now!
With the digitization of almost every aspect of our daily lives, music has not been left untouched. With just a pair of headsets and your phone, you can blast your favorite song all day, almost at no cost.
Like any other technological advancement, the streaming aspect of the music industry was not without a hitch. The entry of the streaming services into the market years ago saw the decline of CD sales and a myriad of copyright lawsuits.
Streaming means convenience, obviously, for the music fans. No storage space needed, and you can now customize your playlists that switch from one artist to another and even from one genre of music to a different one.
While it’s obvious that streaming is convenient for the music consumer, what does it really mean for you if you are an artist? Financially speaking, it is not simple to earn enough money from streaming to pay your bills unless you are a world-renowned artist.
To most artists, the streaming platforms act as a promotion tool to get one playing at live shows and tours which is where the money is nowadays in the music industry.
For other established musicians, streaming is a real income earner. Despacito by Luis Fonsi, for instance, was streamed over 4 billion times over 6 months. This is a considerable amount of income.
Other artists are devising ways of maximizing their gains from the streaming platforms. A while back, Ed Sheeran produced different versions of his ‘song shape of you’ to reach out to different markets which increased his streams considerably.
If you are looking to take the music space to the digital space, this guide will tell you all you need to know about how much money you can make from different platforms to tricks you can employ to increase your streaming revenues.
Benefits of the music streaming platforms to artists
Change is inevitable, but it’s human beings’ intrinsic nature to oppose change and stick to familiar habits and routines. When the streaming platforms were setting out, they encountered a lot of resistance from both the artists and record labels.
Taylor Swift, for instance, pulled down her music from Spotify because she felt that artists were not being compensated as they should be. In her opinion, streaming platforms were making the music free and this would devastate the music market. She was not entirely wrong.
Are there any significant gains for you as an artist in these platforms? Let’s explore a few benefits that one could potentially reap off these platforms.
Before the streaming platforms, an artist would release an album, scale the charts over a few days, and make maximum sales at that moment. You were guaranteed of constant income as long as you stayed on the charts which were a tough battle. One could rise up the charts only to be obscured by other new albums in a matter of days.
The streaming platforms allow fans to binge on a particular artist. This can earn you a considerable amount of money without necessarily producing new music.
- A constant flow of income.
In comparison, CD sales yielded a lot of money back in the day before streaming platforms. However, when a fan buys a CD, it is a one-affair.
With the streaming platforms, every time a fan streams your song, you get a little bit of money. If a fan incorporates your song in their playlist, it means more frequent streams and probably for a long time.
- Music promotion and discovery for new artists
As I already mentioned earlier, when you are a new artist, financial gains may not be the ultimate gain from the streams. Although the amount of money you get from the streams may not be that significant, the amount of exposure one can potentially get from these platforms is unlimited.
You can turn these digital fans to live show attendees. This is where money is made.
The ‘discover’ weekly playlist feature from Spotify puts together a list of songs amazing songs not yet popular. If your song is listed here, it can help catapult you to stardom.
- Easy access
Fans can easily access your music on the streaming platforms. This makes your music distribution easy. You can also incorporate links directing fans to digital stores where they can buy your album. By doing this you increase your sales.
- An alternative platform for artists to thrive
There are several instances in which an artist’s album sales are poor but they do well in streams. Years back, album sales were the only way one could make money. If your album was released and failed to meet the expected sales, the record label had to choice but to drop you.
With the streaming platforms, however, artists have an alternative platform to thrive. If physical album sales are not as good as you had envisioned, streams can step in to help boost your income.
The streaming platforms provide artists with very precise data on how the fans are interacting with their music. The inbuilt analytics tools on these platforms help artists with real-time data that one can use to make adjustments or launch a promotion campaign.
Different streaming platforms and the amount in royalties they offer
There are several music-streaming platforms for you as an artist to consider. The differences are in the amount in royalties that they offer artists and the extent of their audience coverage.
Having looked at the benefits of the streaming platforms, it’s time to look at the different rates they offer you as an artist and see how they stack up against each other.
Spotify was founded in 2006 in Stockholm Sweden. With over 200 million active users monthly, Spotify is one of the biggest streaming platforms at your disposal.
As of May 2019, Spotify has about 100 million premium subscribers. It’s disheartening that their high number of subscribers does not match up with their royalty payment rates.
If there was a chart for streaming payout to artists, Spotify would rank 6th behind Napster, tidal, apple music, google play, and Deezer paying 0.00437$ per play. To make a 1000$ you would need 228,832 plays.
- A wider audience-Spotify is one of the biggest platforms and therefore your music will have a huge audience
- Music and event promotion-With their Spotify promotion feature you can link your profile with ticket apps and this will help immensely in promoting your gig and getting you a maximum turn up.
In this case, Spotify is a perfect event promotion tool at your disposal. Getting on Spotify playlists is another promotion strategy you can employ.
- Music discovery-Spotify is known to help break out artists with the features on their playlist. Therefore being on Spotify increases your chances of being ‘discovered’ as a new artist.
- Low payouts
Although Spotify ranks high in the number of active users and the audience coverage, they have very low payouts when it comes to paying artists. For instance, to make a 1000$ you would have to have 228,833 streams.
Unless you are a world-renowned artist, this is not an easy number to achieve on a tune. For this reason, it is very unlikely that you can rely on Spotify streams to pay your bills.
- Influence on charts
Due to the wide audience coverage Spotify has, there is a great deal of influence on the chart's position depending on how you perform on Spotify.
With over 60 million premium subscribers, apple music seconds Spotify in terms of the number of active users that visit the site.
In terms of payout to artists, this streaming platform pays much better than its rival Spotify at 0.00735$ per play. To make a 1000$ on apple music, one would have to have136,054 streams on a tune. This is less than the streams one would need in Spotify.
- The audience at second place in terms of audience, apple music still offers you a huge reachable audience for your music
- Better payouts in comparison with other streaming platforms
- Apple Music is available in more countries giving you a larger geographical area for you to market your music.
- Apple Music has a bigger music collection and fewer streamers which means that your tune has an even smaller chance at being streamed.
- Less audience in comparison to Spotify.
Deezer is a French-based streaming platform. In terms of the number of subscribed streamers, Deezer comes in 3rd on this list with 14 million subscribers 7 million of which are premium subscribers.
In terms of payout to artists, Deezer takes the 5th place but with better payouts than Spotify which takes the 6th place.
- Wider geographical coverage for your music as Deezer is available in 150 countries.
- In comparison to other platforms, Deezer still ranks high with their audience coverage
- Better payouts in comparison to Spotify, YouTube, and other platforms.
- Not available in the US and therefore not ideal for you if you are targeting the US market.
- Low payouts to artists.
The tidal streaming platform offers its users high-quality music streams. The Jay-z streaming platform is one of the best-paying streaming platforms on this list right up there next to Napster on this list.
With about 4.2 million premium subscribers, your music is bound to find the right audience on this platform as well.
With the tidal promotion, you can choose a promotion pack that suits your music promotion needs.
Tidal pays artists 0.0125$ per play which would require the artist 80,000 streams to make a 1000 dollars.
- High payouts, obviously.
- Considerably large audience for your songs
- There are controversies of hackers interfering with streams
Although initially rocked by legal issues in the initial stages, Napster is arguably the founding father of all the music streaming platforms.
Napster doesn’t reveal their user metrics so it’s hard to tell how much of an audience if you choose to use the platform.
When it comes to paying out artists, as of the year 2019, Napster has the best rates of 0.0900 per play
With these rates, an artist would need only 11,110 plays to make a 1000 dollars.
- The highest payout rates are available in the market.
- With their payout rates, music streaming can easily be profitable for the artist.
- Napster’s user metrics are not public yet so it’s hard to tell the size of the audience at your disposal beforehand
Just like Napster, Amazon’s user metrics are not public and this makes hard to determine the extent of their audience coverage beforehand.
In terms of payout to artists, it is not amazon is not one of the most flattering streaming platforms as an artist. As of 2019, amazon pays 0.00402 per stream which ranks in the 7th place.
To make a 1000 $ an artist would have to get a whopping 248,756 streams.
- It’s a tool for marketing your music
- Amazon is linked to the Alexa voice services which make it easy for users to access your music
- Available in about 79 countries which a wide geographical area for your music
- Poor payouts
Different from the other streaming platforms, Pandora users do not specifically choose the songs to listen to. It is a platform for users to discover new music in the music industry. This makes the platform perfect for you if you are a starting artist.
With its over 80 million active users, Pandora may be a perfect promotion tool for your music.
Pandora pays artists 0.00133$ per stream which means one would need 751878 streams to make a 1000$.
- A huge audience at your disposal
- Can be a great promotion for you to get live shows attendees
- Very low payouts
- Users do not get to choose their songs and therefore your fans may not listen to your songs as much as they want
Available in over 65 countries, google play music offers your music a large geographical area with about 15 million subscribers at your disposal.
Google play music pays artists 0.00676$ per play. An artist would need 147,928 streams to make 1000$.
- A fairly large geographical area to market your music.
- An ideal music promotion tool
- Poor payouts in comparison to other streaming platforms.
Here is a table to summarize royalty payment by different streaming platforms:
Amount of royalty payment
Google play music
For many artists, these rates are not as impressive as they would want and they have not gone uncontested. Many artists feel that these rates are exploitative.
The Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) has recently tried to raise these rates by 43.8%. There may be some hope after all.
However, this proposal has encountered severe resistance from the major players in the music streaming industry.
They claim that such an increment will hurt the music industry.
In their defense, Spotify says that if implemented, these rates will hurt the consumer who will not be able to access music bundles they are accessing ant the moment.
The proposal is to be implemented over a period of 5 years. It is unclear right now whether the courts will grant the streaming companies their wish to block this proposal.
How to increase streaming profit
As is clear to you by now, getting any significant amount of money off the streaming platforms is not an easy task. You will need all the streams you can get and more.
Here are a few things you can do to maximize your streams as well as enhance your stream promotion.
- Playlist placement
Getting your song in a playlist in the streaming platforms will get your streams up considerably. Spotify, for instance, lets you create playlists with your songs in them.
Being on the platforms will help get you discovered by more fans and helps grow your fan base.
- Use well-known song titles or popular phrases for your title
Ever searched a popular song on one of those search engines and got several songs with the same title?
This is a trick you can use as a starting artist to get discovered. It’s how you can trick the streaming platforms’ search function. When subscribers are searching for the popular song, your song will come up too.
- Get creative with the cover art
Great visuals can get streamers playing your song. When creating the cover art, you need to think of ways to come up with a catchy one.
- Carry out a “get heard” promotion campaign
There are a lot of talented artists just like you are out there. The issue is that the competition to get your music listened to is stiff.
Enlist the help of social media, blog posts, streaming radios to get your music heard by new fans. This will help you expand your fan base. To get such services, click here.
- Use your video to promote your song
A catchy and creative video will get your song more streams. You can agree there are a few times you streamed a song several times because you wanted to watch the video one more time.
Don’t just create a video for the sake of creating one. Put some serious thought into it.
- Use affiliate links
When you upload songs on these streaming platforms provide affiliate links to digital stores where your fans can buy your records.
Another way to earn more money using affiliate links is by getting deals from online stores to promote their products on your streams for a fee.
- Enlist the help of music promoters
There are numerous music promoters out there that you can hire or consult on how to push your music. This will cost you but in this industry, you must be ready to spend in order to earn.
You can get suitable packages like Apple Music promo and streaming promo.
Quick steps to follow to upload your music:
- Uploading your music on the streaming platform is an easy task. Here are quick simple steps to follow to do this.
- Decide on the streaming platform you want to upload your music on.
- Create an account on this platform. Make sure you use an easy to remember password and an active email account because you need to keep up with the progress.
- Verify. After creating the account, they will most probably send a link to your email so that you can verify your email. Click on the link they send you on your email to do this.
- Record a single or an album you want to upload. Most commonly artists upload singles on these platforms. Do what works for you.
- Make the necessary payments. You must spend it to earn. Think of it as an investment.
- Promote your music. Don’t just sit and wait. Actively promote your music. Urge fans to check out that new song you just uploaded.
Enlist some help if you need to. Just make sure you are doing everything you can to increase your streams. Lucky for you we already provided you with strategies of doing this effectively. Choose the one that works for you the best.
Music distribution and consumption have come a long way. Things are easier when you know what you stand to gain from each platform you choose to upload your music on.
Make the most out of your music by employing all the strategies you can to promote your music and increase your streams. Let’s get you making that money.