How much do films pay for songs
Musician shows: That's how much money streaming services like Spotify and Co. pay
Zoë Keating has several million hits. The special thing about the American cellist is that she makes her earnings accessible to everyone. Above all, the amounts that streaming services like Spotify and Co. pay seem incredibly low. Why is that?
Even if not everyone can put a face on Zoë Keating, the American cellist is an exception in the music industry.
Streaming Services in Comparison: The Two Faces of Spotify
The reason for this is - as is so often the case - with the money. The 46-year-old musician from San Francisco is very open about her income as a musician.
For example, it published all of the revenues it generated in 2017 via streaming services such as Spotify, Amazon Prime Music and Apple Music in a publicly accessible document.
American cellist Zoë Keating's streaming earnings in 2017.
With around four million streams, she has an income of just over 80,000 US dollars. This figure does not include the income from the licensing of the music for films, commissions, usage rights, live performances and (physical) sales.
A detailed look at the revenue generated by individual streaming services is also interesting. This makes it clear that Spotify pays the least amount of money at 0.38 cents per stream. At the same time, the income that Keating generates through Spotify is also the highest.
Amazon Prime pays the highest amount of money (6.6 cents per stream). In second place was the Xbox Music paid service with 3.2 cents per stream. However, this service was discontinued by Microsoft on December 31, 2017.
How can the amounts be classified?
First of all, when classifying the values, the question naturally arises: How meaningful are the figures of a well-known but certainly not world-famous artist?
The music experts from "The Trichordist" provide the answer. They have also published values on the payments for the streaming services.
These are based on a much larger foundation. They come from an independent label with around 200 albums and more than 200 million streams a year.
Although the unspecified label generates significantly more hits with more albums, the values are at the same level for almost all streaming services. They even tend to be somewhat lower.
The streaming services aren't the biggest problem
If the margins are apparently so low across industries, streaming services don't seem to be really worthwhile for artists. But are Spotify, Apple, Amazon and Co. really to blame for the low payouts?
There is an answer to this difficult question in the comment column under the Facebook post by mobility expert Don Dahlmann.
It addresses the real problem facing the music industry: the record companies. The streaming services cede more than 70 percent of their income to them. (That could be one reason why Spotify continues to write losses despite massive growth.)
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The record companies, however, do not give the artists a sufficient share of the generated income. So it is wrong to only look to Spotify and Co. to blame.
Rather, the market power of the great gatekeepers in the music industry should be questioned. Why do they keep such a high percentage of the income? Why aren't artists paid better and sometimes cannibalized with contracts? These are the questions that need to be answered.
If the streaming services had to pay less money to the record companies, they could pay more money to artists.
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