June 22


Here’s How Much Apple Music Pays You per Stream


Apple Music streaming happens to be one of the best streaming music platforms that offer great convenience to music lovers. Today, millions of music fans flock to Apple music streaming services to enjoy music from their favorite artists, which is usually subscription-based or advertisement-supported. For instance, in 2017, listeners from the United States listened to stream music at an average of 32 hours per week and that number has continued to rise.

Apart from just entertaining the fans, Apple music streaming has enabled artists to be discovered along with their music. Also, many artists turn to it to monetize their fan base and have viewed it as a gateway to success. It is clear today that if as an artist you are not streaming on some of the prominent and well-known platforms like Apple Music, then the possibility of you remaining anonymous to the rest of the world is high.

However, as much as streaming services like Apple Music have been on the front line on entertaining fans, the question is, stream from this platform generating enough pay for the artists or it is just a raw deal for them? In this article, we are going to answer the question, “how much does Apple music pay per stream?” But before we look at this, let’s first find out how it is ranking compared to other streaming platforms.

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Apple Music Services vs. Other streaming platforms

To understand how Apple music services rank in terms of pay-per-stream, consider a comparison between different music streaming platforms. Statistics show that Apple Music seems to be the preferred platform because it has been providing the best value per stream.

According to Trichordist, Apple Music provides the best value to artists than the rest. Its streaming revenue seems to surpass its competitors, and it is the reason why it has become a platform of choice for those artists who want to stream their music.

However, like any other music streaming service, Apple Music does not pay a fixed pay-per-stream rate for music royalties to artists. How much an artist can make per stream on fees on this music streaming platform as well as other platforms depends on various factors such as:

  • The country of the listeners and their location
  • Whether the listener is using a free account or paid subscription
  • The specific royalty rate of the artist
  • The comparative currency and pricing of various regions

Generally, given the above factors, predicting how much an artist can earn in streaming royalties becomes difficult. Note that if the prediction of fees becomes impossible, then an accurate calculation of how much an artist will make from a given number of streams will also not be possible because all the above factors have to be put into consideration. Let’s now look at the actual situation on the ground when it comes to how much Apple music pays per stream.

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How much does Apple music pay per stream?

The truth of the matter is that the royalty figure given from various sites is vague. It does not provide the exact numbers from music streaming royalties because of the streaming payout’s unpredictable nature. So, it has been impossible for artists to understand the worth of their overall streams.

Nevertheless, recent research from the artists themselves and third-party websites have been able to provide a picture of how royalties are being paid out to musicians by the most significant music streaming platforms such as Apple Music. Let us have a look at these statistics.

Apple Music pay per stream statistics

On 6 percent of consumption, Apple Music accounts for about 25 percent of the overall streaming income, making it the best value per stream. That is far much better compared to other streaming platforms like Spotify, which generated total revenue of about 44 percent of all streaming revenue on 22 percent of the consumption. If you further compare Apple Music with a streaming music platform like YouTube, you will notice that it only accounts for revenue of about 6 percent on 51 percent of the general consumption. Fifty-one percent is way above half of the total streams.

By revenue category, Spotify takes the lead by 44.2 percent, and this is because of its broad grasp on the market share. However, Apple Music follows closely at the second position at a 24.7 percent share of paid out income. Although Spotify emerges the winner under this category, Apple Music scooping the second position is an indication that it remains competitive.

Under the category of market share by a stream, Apple Music takes the lead with a payment of about 25 percent of the general revenue from the streaming industry, accounting for only 6.36 percent of public streams.

When it comes to price per stream, Apple still tops the rest of the streaming platforms. For example, if you compare it with Spotify, Apple’s price per stream stands at 0.000675, while Spotify is at 0.00348. Also, for every 1 million that play a song, receives payment of about $6,750 from Apple. This figure from Apple is much higher compared to the $3,300 to $3,500 they receive from Spotify.

Though Apple Music streaming seems to be doing better than any other streaming platform, its pay per stream has not been steady recently. Like any other online business, music streaming also faces some challenges that affect its pay per-stream, and Apple Music streaming has not been left out. It has experienced some instability, but that does not mean that its value in the streaming market has significantly diminished. Let’s see the reason behind Apple music’s fluctuations in pay per stream in the recent past.

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Why there has been a fluctuation in Apple music pay per stream

In 2018, there was a drastic fall in Apple Music pay per stream at a rate of 0.00495. According to Trichordist, the decrease was due to Apple’s move to expand its brand into other new regions. During the expansion period, it had introduced a 90-day free subscription offer. This offer is what made it lose some significant amount of money because the free accounts created within the free 90-day subscription had not yet translated to full paid subscribers.

However, the low moments that Apple experienced during the 90 days free subscriptions were for an excellent course. After its expansion and getting new paid subscribers, it has been able to stabilize its per-stream rate moving from 0.00495 per-stream rates to 0.0675, which is closer to where it was at 0.00783 per play before the expansion plan came in place. It is confident that this figure is bound to rise even higher soon.

Is it possible for Apple music to improve its pay per stream for artists?

The fact is that artists deserve to receive better pay for their content. Streaming platforms such as Apple music services need to increase their rates considerably, to enable artists to make more money from their content.

However, this has not been the case because, from the look of things, this may be a challenging proposition given that the streaming business seems not to be that profitable. From the statistics, it is clear that it will require a lot of streams for an artist to be able to earn big bucks. Now, the question is, is there a way of Apple music changing this narrative?

The answer is yes. If Apple music changes its model, artists can earn big exclusively from streaming. There are lots of independent musicians who have been able to stream big and made a good living from streaming royalties alone. So, what exactly can Apple music do to ensure this?

Way forward

There is no point of artists giving up 70% to record labels. With a good model, Apple music can own a piece of intellectual property without paying third-party tags. This way, it will be easy for streaming services like Apple Music to make available cash advances to musicians to help them make immediate income from their products.

Generally, music streaming services have the power of scaling up their pay per stream. They should look out for the work of the musicians they leverage the most and work for hand in hand with these artists. By doing so, they will be able to make a profit and at the same time, benefit the artist.


Note that as the streaming industry continues to grow, the more challenging situations artists continue to face. So, making money through streaming has not been and is still not a walk in the park. There is a lot you need to work on as an artist to ensure that you attract new fans and maintain the current ones to ensure steady streams. It is about being strategic and creative.

Also, as you focus on a platform like Apple music that pays better when it comes to pay per stream, remember that there are also those platforms that have lower royalty rates but with many users and broader reach. Such platforms might be worth in terms of exposure and reach and can help artists a great deal when it comes to building their profile. These streaming platforms can be a stepping stone towards artists, increasing their pay per stream in the future.

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