There can be no denying at music streaming is the way forward in music. With every passing year, the amount of music streamed on all the best-known music platforms increases, and trillions of songs are streamed each year with the figures climbing as members of the public catch onto the concept of streaming music in a big way. Over 100 million people worldwide pay to stream music worldwide with many more taking advantage of free streaming services.
It's no wonder that streaming music is great for consumers. They can listen to any kind of music that takes their fancy, whenever they like, wherever they like, and they can either do this completely for free or for a very low monthly cost. It's no wonder that music lovers can't wait to sign up.
However, what about artists profits? How can they earn money when consumers stream music?
Hundreds of singers and bands within the music industry have complained for years about how hard it is to earn money from music when people would rather use Spotify or Apple Music than buy a CD. So, what exactly do artists earn from these streaming sites?
When people stream music, there isn't a single flat rate which is paid for each song. In fact, the amount paid for each play of a song will vary depending on several factors. Usually, however, the amount is under a penny a stream. The amount below this will differ depending on the service, the location of the person who is listening and the deal terms which the record label has forged with the artist in question.
This means that when it comes to artists profits, it's virtually impossible to define a precise figure. However, there are a few estimates out there which give a good idea of how much artists can expect to receive per play:
Although it doesn't sound like a lot, these amounts add up rapidly.
Different streaming sites will pay artists different amounts. Apple Music and Tidal, for example, take pride in trying to increase how much artists are paid per play. Some sites have rates that are set by the government which are unable to be negotiated due to the Copyright Royalty Board. Other streaming services use a formula which dictates how much each artist will be paid. This means that there is no easy way to work out just how much artists will earn from each play.
If we look at things on a monetary level, it is always best for the artist if listeners buy their chosen song direct from the artist themselves or, alternatively from digital services such as iTunes. Spotify and YouTube streaming are great for consumers but not so much for artists when it comes to money and profits. It's also important to remember that artists then have to share their profits with their agent, manager, and record label as well as any session musicians or others who had a hand in producing the track.
So, why do artists bother with allowing their tracks to be streamed? The fact remains that music streaming is one of the best ways to simplify the process for the public to hear their music, and this is enough to make it appealing to singers and bands who want their work to be made available to as wide an audience as possible. Even if the amount made from streaming through Spotify is tiny compared to the amount which they would have made from selling a CD, the pleasure that artists get from sharing their work exceeds the joy they get from checking their bank balance.
For artists, it's, therefore, better to use today's latest technology to allow the public to find their music across as many platforms as possible than to lag behind hoping that people will buy their CDs. The fact remains that if people can find their music and listen to its easily they'll be able to connect with it more effectively and then buy songs and albums, increasing their profits overall.
Although streaming may not, on the surface of things, appear to be the most lucrative option for artists, since it is the most popular option for music lovers everywhere, it is the best choice for any band or singer. When music can be streamed, whether for free or at a cost, it can be made accessible to a wider audience, and that can only mean more music sales in the long run.
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