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Apple reveals how much it pays artists – it’s more than Spotify, but it still ain’t a lot

The company also revealed how much of its subscription revenue goes to artists.

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Music streaming has drastically changed the music industry, and especially now, with most shows and festivals being canceled. Where musicians once made a large amount of their money from in-person shows, COVID-19 has forced artists to rely more on streams of their music on platforms like Spotify and Apple Music.

Now, in a letter from Apple to artists, and obtained by The Wall Street Journal, the company is opening up about how much it pays artists per stream and what that percentage is of total revenue earned by Apple’s subscription service.

So, how much are artists raking in from music streaming? 1 cent per stream. According to WSJ, that number can dip a bit lower, but it is still basically double what Spotify pays its artists.

“As the discussion about streaming royalties continues, we believe it is important to share our values,” Apple said in the letter. “We believe in paying every creator the same rate, that a play has a value, and that creators should never have to pay for [being featured].”

In addition to that information, it was also revealed that Apple pays its streaming artists from the company’s Apple Music subscription revenue and that payouts equal roughly 52% of that total. As of June 2019, Apple Music had 60 million subscribers.

One thing interested to note here is that artists aren’t paid directly, so that penny-per-stream is not all going directly to the artists in many instances. Instead, the payouts are made to the rights holders, who then make payouts to labels, artists, and so on.

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