Apple Music and Spotify disclose how artists and labels are compensated for streaming content

Posted on: April 20, 2021

“Apple Music told artists it pays a penny per stream,” writes Anna Steele in Friday’s (4/16) Wall Street Journal (subscription required). “The disclosure, made in a letter to artists delivered Friday via the service’s artist dashboard and sent to labels and publishers, reflects music-streaming services’ increasing efforts to show they are artist-friendly…. Spotify Technology SA … last month shared some details of how it pays the music industry for streams on its platform. Apple’s penny-per-stream payment structure—which music-industry experts say can dip lower—is roughly double what Spotify … pays music-rights holders per stream. Spotify pays an average of about one-third to one-half penny per stream, though its larger user base generates many more streams. Apple’s payments come out of monthly subscription revenue from users. Artists, managers and lawyers, still reeling from the loss of touring revenue during the pandemic, have been calling for higher payouts from music streaming, which has grown rapidly in the past year…. Both Apple and Spotify pay rights holders based on the share of total streams their artists garner on each service…. Spotify has accused [Apple] of operating its App Store in a way that stifles competition.”