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How Much Do Artists Really Get Paid For Streams

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We’ve long known that artists don’t really make the majority of their money from music sales, particularly traditional CD sales.  Artists are able to rake in their fortune from licensing, publishing, touring/appearances, and if they’re lucky, from other business ventures and investments.  Still, when artists were moving album units out of stores like hot cakes there was still a lot of money to be made off sales alone.  Streaming has complicated that just a little bit.  Every time you listen to an artist on your headphones, they are getting paid, even if just a percentage of a cent. Here we break down how much artists get paid per stream on various streaming sites, including YouTube.  This is an estimate based on all the factors we have available to us.

It’s also important to realize that artists still have to pay taxes on these royalties come tax season.  The income is reported by these streaming services so when artists don’t file their taxes they end up with tax liens that we often hear about in the media.

Here’s a little guide to help you break down how much artists get paid per stream:

1 Stream on YouTube = $0.00069
1 Stream on Spotify = $0.00437
1 Stream on Apple Music = $0.00735
1 Stream on Tidal = $0.01250
1 Stream on Amazon Music = $0.00402

1 Million Streams on YouTube = $690
1 Million Streams on Spotify = $4,370
1 Million Streams on Apple Music = $7,350
1 Million Streams on Tidal = $12,500
1 Million Streams on Amazon Music = $4,020

150 streams = 1 Song Download ($0.99-$1.29 Equivalent)
1500 streams = 1 Album Sale (10 Tracks / $9.99 Equivalent)

75 Million Streams = 500,000 Singles Sold (RIAA Gold)
150 Million Streams = 1 Million Singles Sold (RIAA Platinum)
1.5 Billion Streams = 1 Million Albums Sold (RIAA Platinum)

If you go RIAA Platinum on YouTube, you will get = $103,500
If you go RIAA Platinum on Spotify, you will get = $655,550
If you go RIAA Platinum on Apple Music, you will get = $1,102,500

Main Image by Jeremy Paige

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