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Opinion: Should Streaming Platforms Pay Musicians More?




Many artists have argued that music streaming platforms like Spotify and Apple Music do not pay enough money for streams. Should artists earn more?

It’s widely known at this point that both Spotify and Apple pay very little in terms of royalties towards artists on their platforms.

According to DittoMusic, on average Spotify reportedly paid around $0.004 per stream to artists on their platform in 2020, whilst Apple Music paid on average $0.007.

Of course, it’s difficult to get an exact number on how much both platforms pay to artists as their is no fixed rate, instead artists are paid per stream based on the location of the listener.


For big artists in the industry, the low pay-out for streams is not a major problem as it has a very littlie impact on their overall earnings with many of them having other deals which significantly increase their income.

Independent artists, however, who rely on revenue just from streaming, are often left behind struggling to get by.

As reported by NME, a recent study suggested that fewer then 800 musicians in the UK make a living solely from streaming.

In Spotify’s and Apple’s defence, one of the main reasons they pay so little for individual streams is because they also pay large sums to record labels to access their catalogues of music. These deals are almost never disclosed, but are rumoured to cost many millions of dollars.


Us as listeners also have to blame ourselves to a degree, especially since we demand almost instant access to our music. It wasn’t that long ago that as consumers we would purchase albums from our favourite artists whether that be physical as a CD or Record, or digitally on iTunes.

These days though, it’s hard to find anyone who actually purchases albums rather then just streaming their music online.

Maybe that is the conversation which actually need to have? Perhaps us as consumers should take it into our own responsibly to actually support artists more directly.

At the end of the day, this kind of problem does not have an easy solution. There is no doubt that artists should get paid more from streaming, but they also shouldn’t have to expect that to be the only way they can make money for their music.


It’s clear that something will eventually have to change in the music industry. The real question is when will that change happen?

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