One thing for sure about streaming music is that the payouts per stream are constantly changing and this year was no exception. In fact, you’ll be surprised who is new highest pay leader.
According to a survey of third-party websites made by Digital Music News, Napster now owns the highest pay mantle at $0.019 per stream. That means it would take an independent artist around 77,604 plays to earn the US monthly minimum wage of $1,472.
Coming in at second place is Jay-Z’s Tidal at $0.0125 per stream, which means that an artist would need 177,604 streams to meet the monthly minimum wage in the US.
Apple Music comes in third at $0.00735 per stream, while Google Play Music is next at $0.00676 per stream. Deezer is next at $0.00640 per stream, while Spotify pays out $0.00437 per stream. That means an artist needs 336,842 streams to meet the U.S. minimum monthly wage.
Amazon Music is next at $0.00402 per stream, Pandora Premium at $0.00133 per stream, and YouTube comes in last at $0.00069 per stream. That means a YouTube artist needs 2,133,333 views to reach the $1,472 minimum wage.
What’s particularly interesting is the fact that most of these services are losing money. For instance, Napster is said to lose about $7 per year per subscriber, yet is the only service that’s profitable (wonder how that happens?). On the other hand, Spotify is said to be losing $2.68 per user, while YouTube is losing only $0.17 per user while the service itself lost $174 million.
Keep in the mind that the numbers needed to reach the U.S. monthly minimum wage aren’t that daunting in the new world of streaming. We live in a world where 50 million streams or views only amounts to a minor hit, while normal everyday hits track in the hundreds of millions. The scale of things is different than in the era of sales where a million of anything was big and worth some serious money.
Our digital world means higher numbers by at least an order of magnitude.