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.

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.

Top Rated Comments

MauiPa Avatar
14 months ago
Exactly why I won't use Spotify. They are the biggest by so much, where do they spend the money they don't pay artists? Not in quality software, must be CEO pay and such.
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
MauiPa Avatar
14 months ago

It still doesn’t sound very much for the artists!!!!
do some math. If you bought an Album and played it only 30 times with an average of 15 songs, that is $4.50 directly to artist. In traditional CD sales "Artists can receive 10% – 15% of suggested album retail minus packaging costs." https://www.recordingconnection.com/reference-library/recording-entrepreneurs/how-do-record-labels-turn-a-profit/

So that is $1.50 on a $15 Album
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
CB1234 Avatar
14 months ago
It still doesn’t sound very much for the artists!!!!
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
yaxomoxay Avatar
14 months ago

do some math. If you bought an Album and played it only 30 times with an average of 15 songs, that is $4.50 directly to artist. In traditional CD sales "Artists can receive 10% – 15% of suggested album retail minus packaging costs." https://www.recordingconnection.com/reference-library/recording-entrepreneurs/how-do-record-labels-turn-a-profit/

So that is $1.50 on a $15 Album

artists are not receiving the full $4.50... there are still producers, distributors, etc to pay.
I think that the true power of Apple Music and Spotify is that it allows users to find more music that otherwise they would not regularly purchase, which drives more money to artists in general.
I am sure that I am not the only one that randomly finds an interesting song (maybe heard it on tv etc.) by someone I don't even know, starts listening to it, then listens to more songs by the same artist and then just moves to similar artists for a while.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
NotTooLate Avatar
14 months ago

Yes, those maths sound alright, but artists would have to wait until you've listened the album 30 times, before getting that revenue, and how long is that going to take. I think they would prefer the $1.50 in their pocket from you as soon as possible, so they can get on with things.

The lower the pay per stream value is, the lower audiences, labels, and services value the music itself. It just becomes a product to shift.
There is no doubt in my mind that ive listened to MUCH more music with streaming services then I ever did with CD`s , so overall artists are getting much more money from me personally , overall I would argue that streaming is better business then CD sales , for the biggest artists it might be a different math , but I got to listen to artists that I will Never thought about buying their creations before I had a streaming service that lets me listen to whatever I decide at the same price per month (on my end).

Some of the artists are multi millionaires and to them the "delayed" payment is a non issue , for the smaller artists I believe streaming service is a blessing as more ppl listen to more music then ever , so greater chance to break out and make it big.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
darkcompass Avatar
14 months ago

It doesn’t matter who pays more. Audience coverage matters. Apple Music sucks here compared to Spotify.
Artists can arrange their music to be on multiple platforms, so the coverage is moot, the artist should just be paid fairly.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Related Stories

apple music replay 2022 feature2

Apple Music 'Replay 2022' Playlist Now Available

Tuesday February 15, 2022 4:43 am PST by
Apple today started sharing its "Replay 2022" playlist to Apple Music subscribers. Just like the past few years, this playlist ranks all of the music you've been streaming since the year began, with 100 total tracks in the ranking. "Replay 2022" will update every week with the newest order of your most-listened-to tracks. By the time 2022 ends, the playlist provides an overall look at your...
Apple HomePod mini Apple Music Voice AirPods 3rd gen 10182021 inline

Apple Music Gaining New 'Voice Plan' for $4.99/Month

Monday October 18, 2021 10:09 am PDT by
Apple today revealed a new subscription tier for Apple Music, called the "Voice Plan" and priced at $4.99/month. This plan has been designed around the power of Siri and offers subscribers access to the service's catalog of 90 million songs only through Siri, hence the name. This means that users on this tier can only access and play songs, playlists, and albums in Apple Music through their...
apple music

New Apple Music App Name Leaked by Beta Code

Wednesday February 23, 2022 2:40 am PST by
The name of Apple's new classical music-focused app appears to have been leaked by code from the company's Android app. Last year, Apple announced its purchase of the classical music streaming service Primephonic, which offered advanced search and browse features specially optimized for classical music. At the time, Apple said that the best elements of Primephonic would become a part of...
apple music spatial audio ad

More Than Half of Apple Music Listeners Using Spatial Audio, Says Apple Exec

Wednesday February 16, 2022 2:24 am PST by
In an interview with Billboard, Apple's vice president of Apple Music and Beats, Oliver Schusser, details the growth of and reaction to Spatial Audio and Lossless Audio on the streaming platform. Apple Music gained Spatial Audio and Lossless support in June 2021, and since, Apple has continued to add new songs to its catalog that support both new features. Apple had previously promised that ...
apple music android listen now

Android Apple Music Beta Code Refers to Unreleased 'Apple Classical' App

Thursday February 10, 2022 2:20 am PST by
Apple's latest Apple Music beta app for Android may have revealed the name of the company's forthcoming app dedicated to classical music, suggesting a release might not be too far away. Last year, Apple announced the purchase of classical music streaming service Primephonic, which features search and browse functionality specially optimized for classical music. Apple said that the best...
apple music for artists

Apple Redesigns Apple Music Website for Artists

Wednesday June 2, 2021 2:02 pm PDT by
Apple today overhauled its Artists.Apple.com website, which is designed for artists who are creating content for Apple Music. The updated site is meant to be a centralized location that will let artists access the Apple Music tools and services that are available to them. Artists.Apple.com will serve as the home for all artist activity on Apple Music, and it will act as an entry point into...
apple music ps5 main recrop

Apple Music for PS5 Available Now, First Integrated Experience on a Game Console

Wednesday October 27, 2021 8:39 am PDT by
Apple Music is available on the PlayStation 5 from today, offering the first fully integrated Apple Music experience on a game console, Sony has announced. The news comes after weeks of the Apple Music app intermittently appearing for PS5 users with no official word on the development from Apple or Sony. Apple Music on the PS5 allows subscribers to play more than 90 million songs, as well as ...
apple music voice plan feature

Here's a First Look at Apple Music's Voice Plan Launching With iOS 15.2

Thursday December 9, 2021 8:53 am PST by
iOS 15.2 is expected to be released to all users as early as next week, and one of the software update's key new features is the Apple Music Voice Plan, which is designed to let users access Apple Music exclusively through Siri. Ahead of iOS 15.2 being released, we're able to provide a first look at the Voice Plan, courtesy of MacRumors contributor Steve Moser. Users will be able to...

Popular Stories

apple ar headset concept 1

Apple's Headset Said to Feature 14 Cameras Enabling Lifelike Avatars, Jony Ive Has Remained Involved With Design

Friday May 20, 2022 6:50 am PDT by
Earlier this week, The Information's Wayne Ma outlined struggles that Apple has faced during the development of its long-rumored AR/VR headset. Now, in a follow-up report, he has shared several additional details about the wearable device. Apple headset render created by Ian Zelbo based on The Information reporting For starters, one of the headset's marquee features is said to be lifelike...
iPhone 14 Purple Lineup Feature

Will the iPhone 14 Be a Disappointment?

Saturday May 21, 2022 9:00 am PDT by
With around four months to go before Apple is expected to unveil the iPhone 14 lineup, the overwhelming majority of rumors related to the new devices so far have focused on the iPhone 14 Pro, rather than the standard iPhone 14 – leading to questions about how different the iPhone 14 will actually be from its predecessor, the iPhone 13. The iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max are expected...
sony headphones 1

Sony's New WH-1000XM5 Headphones vs. Apple's AirPods Max

Friday May 20, 2022 12:18 pm PDT by
Sony this week came out with an updated version of its popular over-ear noise canceling headphones, so we picked up a pair to compare them to the AirPods Max to see which headphones are better and whether it's worth buying the $400 WH-1000XM5 from Sony over Apple's $549 AirPods Max. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. First of all, the AirPods Max win out when it comes ...
studio display 3

Apple's Rumored 27-Inch Mini-LED Display Now Said to Launch in October

Friday May 20, 2022 8:07 am PDT by
Apple now plans to release a new 27-inch display with mini-LED backlighting in October due to the Shanghai lockdown, which has resulted in production of the display being delayed, according to display industry consultant Ross Young. In a tweet, Young said Apple is in the process of moving production of the display from Quanta Computer to a different supplier and/or location, resulting in a...
HomePodandMini feature green

Kuo: Apple to Release New HomePod in Late 2022 or Early 2023

Friday May 20, 2022 8:55 am PDT by
Apple is working on an updated version of the HomePod that could come in the fourth quarter of 2022 or the first quarter of 2023, according to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. Kuo says that there "may not be much innovation in hardware design" for the new HomePod, and there is no word on what size the device will be and if it will be a HomePod mini successor or a larger speaker. Apple would ...
airtag purple

Best Apple Deals of the Week: Save on AirTag, AirPods 3, and iPads

Friday May 20, 2022 8:01 am PDT by
Solid markdowns on the AirTag, AirPods 3, and a few iPad models were introduced this week, and below you'll find all of the best deals of the past few days that are still available to purchase. AirTag Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running. What's the...