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How Much Does Apple Music Pay Per Stream In 2024?

audiosorcerer
|
June 7, 2023 
|
Last Updated on January 8, 2024

Due to rapid changes in the music industry, streaming services have become the most popular method of listening to songs. Nowadays, an increasing number of listeners use platforms like Apple Music instead of turning on the radio or popping in a CD to hear their favorite tunes.

As a result, streaming royalties are quickly becoming a top source of revenue for many musicians, next to paid performances and merchandise sales. Apple Music is expected to reach 110 million paying subscribers by 2025, resulting in a greater earning potential for music artists.

This leads us to the question: How much does Apple Music pay per stream? 

Let’s take a closer look at how Apple Music calculates its royalty payments, as well as the factors that can affect an artist’s payout per stream. Keep scrolling!

How Much Does Apple Music Pay Per Stream In 2024?

Most music streaming platforms, including Apple Music, calculate artist royalties on a stream share basis. Stream share refers to the percentage of an individual song’s streams out of Apple Music’s overall number of streams.

Although the exact amount of payout per stream varies from artist to artist and depends on multiple factors, Apple Music states that it pays artists $0.01 per stream on average. In other words, each play that a song receives adds a penny to the artist’s total streaming revenue.

The same rate applies to royalties paid to Apple Music’s labels and publishers. The company further explains that the exact value of a play can differ based on the streaming location and subscription plan involved.

In an earlier statement that Apple Music posted on artists’ dashboards and sent to labels and publishers, the company provided the following royalty-related information:

Uniform 52% Headline Rate

It’s common for streaming platforms to have different revenue-sharing agreements or “headline rates” for labels and music distributors. Most of the time, major record labels have higher-paying deals, while independent groups receive a substantially lower rate. 

However, Apple Music maintains the same 52% headline rate for all labels and distributors. This means that artists receive the same value for their music regardless if they sign a record deal with a label or distribute their music independently. 

The company also follows an equal headline rate for all compositions, with publishers and licensors receiving the same rate on a per-region basis. Apple has significantly optimized its publishing operations so that songwriters and composers can promptly access their earnings.

No Decrease In Royalty Rate for Featuring

In the same official statement, Apply Music emphasized that it won’t pay a lower royalty rate to artists in exchange for featuring their songs. The company states that Apple Music’s 30,000 editorial playlists and algorithmic song recommendations are selected purely based on merit.

On the other hand, Apple Music’s competitor platform, Spotify, offers to prioritize artists’ songs in personalized recommendations through a feature called Discovery Mode. In exchange, the platform charges a commission, which is deducted from the artist’s royalty payout per stream.


Related Article: How Much Does Spotify Pay Per Stream? Is The Payout Fair?


How Do You Calculate Apple Music Streaming Royalties?

Generally, rights holders and artists receive a proportionate share of Apple Music’s net revenue from paid subscriptions, which fluctuates on a monthly basis. This revenue is the amount left after Apple Music’s cut and collections for billing and processing fees and other related charges.

One way of estimating your royalty payment would be to multiply Apple Music’s average per-play rate of $0.01 by your total streams in a particular month. For instance, if you have an album with 10,000 streams on Apple Music, the payout would be around $100.

What Counts As A Stream in Apple Music?

According to Apple’s Artist Analytics, when a user initiates song playback for over 30 seconds in Apple Music, it automatically counts as a “play” or a “stream.” This includes all playbacks, including the ones from Apple Music radio stations.

Additionally, Apple Music measures music performance in the following categories:

  • Average daily listeners
  • Purchases of songs or albums from the iTunes Store
  • Songs recognized by the Shazam app
  • Music milestones for your songs, including Top Plays
  • Music video views
  • Addition to Apple Music editorial playlists

What Factors Affect Apple Music’s Payment Per Stream?

The actual payout that artists receive from Apple Music may vary based on the following:

1. Listeners’ Subscription Plan

Apple Music currently offers four paid subscription plans: Voice, Student, Individual, and Family. The platform also provides a one-month free trial for new subscribers and six months of Apple Music with the purchase of an eligible audio device.

So, how does this affect the amount of payment per stream? Well, having more listeners with paid subscriptions can result in a higher average pay-per-stream rate for your music.

2. Listeners’ Streaming Location

Did you know that the country or region where your listeners are streaming from has an impact on your pay-per-stream rate as well? 

Apple Music is available in over 167 territories, with users paying different subscription prices based on where they’re located. Listeners in areas with lower subscription prices generate a lower pay-per-stream rate for artists, while high-paying territories generate a higher rate.

3. Type Of Streaming Royalty

Like other streaming platforms, Apple Music pays more than one type of streaming royalty, which can affect the amount of payout an artist receives. Recording royalties involve payments to the rightsholders of the songs, which are often the record label or distributor.

Meanwhile, mechanical royalties are paid to songwriters and publishers for the digital or physical reproduction of the song. As for performance royalties, they’re paid when a song is publicly played or streamed online.

How Do Artists Get Paid On Apple Music?

To facilitate royalty payment and collection, Apple Music partners with recording labels and music distributors instead of dealing directly with individual artists. For songwriters and composers, Apple Music coordinates with their music publisher or collection society.

Artists typically receive their royalty payments monthly or quarterly, subject to the terms of their contracts with labels and distributors. Some of them charge the artists a flat fee for distribution and promotion services, while others take a commission out of the artists’ royalties.

How Can Artists Increase Their Streaming Royalties On Apple Music?

To boost earnings from streaming platforms, artists can promote their music through paid advertising, content creation, and engaging with fans on social media. They can also pitch their tracks to curated playlists, as popular playlists can give songs a huge stream boost.

Additional tactics to increase exposure include collaborating with other artists and optimizing metadata for better visibility on Apple Music’s algorithm. Search Engine Optimization can help listeners discover an artist’s songs by utilizing commonly searched keywords.

Releasing new songs consistently and using widely spoken languages, like English, are other ways to secure more listeners. Apple Music strongly discourages the use of fake accounts, bots, and other illegitimate means to increase play counts on the platform.

Apple Music provides the following tools and best practices for artists to grow their audience organically:

  • Creating custom assets on Apple Promote to market songs, albums, and music videos
  • Sharing Milestones to highlight your Apple Music achievements
  • Publishing your artist profile and concert information in Shazam
  • Promoting your songs using smart links and landing pages generated by Linkfire
  • Using Apple Music Marketing Tools such as embeddable players, badges, and icons
  • Discovering your fan statistics, including listeners’ locations, using Analytics

Related Article: Boost Collective Review: Helping Music Artists Rise To Fame


How To Release Your Song On Apple Music

The steps in releasing your masterpiece on Apple Music include preparing your track, music video, metadata, and lyrics for official release. You’ll also have to manage your music’s licensing, distribution, promotion, and royalty payments, among others. 

To streamline the process, Apple Music works with recording labels for signed artists and music distributors for independent artists. These groups will handle the complex music delivery process for you and will resolve any issues that arise regarding your song release.

Here are some of Apple Music’s preferred distributors:

  • TuneCore
  • AudioSalad
  • CD Baby
  • Believe
  • Kontor New Media
  • Golden Dynamic
  • Xelon Entertainment

Creating An Artist Profile On Apple Music

In addition to choosing the right label or distributor for your song, you need to build an audience and connect with fans to ensure a successful song release. One way to establish an online presence is to create and customize your artist profile on Apple Music.

Start by uploading an artist image, filling in your biographical details, and sharing relevant information about your music and band, if applicable. Your artist profile also provides an overview of your available content as well as upcoming releases.

There’s also a Q&A segment for your fans to know more about you and an option to add cover art to establish your brand identity.

Final Thoughts

The music streaming market is exponentially growing and becoming a viable income source for recording artists. As a musician, knowing each streaming platform’s royalty model and payout rate will help you maximize your revenue and focus on the platforms with the highest returns.

So, how much does Apple Music pay per stream? Now, you know!

Remember, streaming services vary greatly in terms of pricing models, user base, features, and royalty calculations, so it’s best to consider other data in combination with their pay-per-stream rates in order to properly evaluate them.

If you found the information in this article helpful, please considering subscribing to our blog for more music industry info, tips, and advice!

"Some of the links within this article are affiliate links. These links are from various companies such as Amazon. This means if you click on any of these links and purchase the item or service, I will receive an affiliate commission. This is at no cost to you and the money gets invested back into Audio Sorcerer LLC."

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