Apple Music Tops Spotify With One Cent Paid Per Stream
In a letter slated to be shared with artists today through the Apple Music for Artists dashboard, obtained by The Wall Street Journal, Apple has reportedly revealed that it pays music rights holders one cent per song streamed on Apple Music.
The report claims that Apple Music's payment structure is thus roughly double what Spotify pays music rights holders per stream, which averages to about one-third to one-half penny per stream, although the report cites music industry experts who say that Apple Music's payments can dip lower. Apple Music's payments come directly from the service's subscription-based revenue from customers, the report adds.
In the letter, Apple says it pays 52% of subscription revenue, or 52 cents of every dollar, to record labels and other music rights holders, according to the report. These music rights holders in turn pay artists based on their recording, publishing, and distribution agreements, so artists might not receive the entire cent per stream.
"As the discussion about streaming royalties continues, we believe it is important to share our values," Apple said in the letter, the report 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 their music to be featured in prominent sections of the Apple Music app.
Spotify has significantly more users than Apple Music worldwide, with 155 million paying subscribers and 345 million total users as of the end of 2020. Apple Music's last known subscriber count is around 60 million, including those on a free trial, but Apple has not provided an updated figure in nearly two years now.