Streaming Royalty Rates


Here’s some current streaming rates per service. Your rates might vary.

If you stream from…

  • Spotify – between $0.0005 and $0.007
  • Google Play – $0.0107
  • YouTube Music – between $0.0013 and $0.0105
  • Tidal – $0.0171
  • Apple Music iTunes Match (US) – $0.0007
  • Apple Music UK – $0.0172
  • Amazon Music – $0.0048
  • Saavn (Hindi) – $0.0018

… is paid to the publishing holder (usually at least partially the artist) for each complete song played.



Let’s convert that to per 1000 streams and sort them high to low:

  1. $17.20 – iTunes Music UK
  2. $17.10 – Tidal
  3. $10.70 – Google Play
  4. $4.80 – Amazon Music
  5. $1.30 – $10.50 – YouTube Music
  6. $0.50 – $7.00 – Spotify
  7. $1.80 – Saavn
  8. $0.70 – Apple Music iTunes Match

This shows how much rates vary based on multiple factors.

For example the distro deal, how much of the song was played, if it was requested or picked by the algorithm, if it was favorited, can all determine it’s royalty rate.

It’s interesting that Apple is on the top and bottom. Tidal pays artists better than other streamers, as they claim. Spotify has a wide range but it’s near the bottom.



Now let’s compare this to the older business model.

Let’s say you purchased a CD/tape/album, took it home, and played a song from it 5 times a week for a few months every year. You really like this album so it stays in your collection for 20 years. You need to replace it with a new copy once.

5 plays * 4 weeks * 3 months = 60 plays per year * 20 years = 1,200 total plays

Artists would bring home 5-20% of the retail cost depending on their record deal. We’ll use 15% as an average.

Old days – you paid the artist $4.50 ($30 retail * 15%)

New days – depending on the service, you paid between 70 cents and $17.


Streaming rates alone won’t kill artists.

They could be higher, they could possibly go lower, but they aren’t that different than buying a CD and playing it 1000 times.


Want to help me keep track of royalty rates? Stream my music! 2MERICA & Roaming Crazy await your stream request.