How many views are needed in each streaming app to earn a dollar?

While the record industry languished a decade ago due to booming piracy or lost sales, the golden era of streaming shines here and now. But how many reproductions are needed on each digital platform to get a euro?

It seems that it was in another life when we were still using walkman, we were recording tapes to our friends or we were waiting for the release of the next CD of our favorite band. Streaming applications like Spotify or Apple Music have completely revolutionized the way to discover artists, consume music or pay for your favorite groups. The transmission services have saved the record labels and the industry in general, faced with a slow agony a few years ago, at the beginning of the digital transformation of this 21st century.

For the first time since the mid-1990s, the music industry experienced consecutive years of growth: revenues grew by a rapid 12% in 2018, reaching almost $ 10 billion, showing that although things have changed, users continue having interest in paying for the music they consume.

Although most forecasts show that streaming services such as Spotify and Apple Music contribute an increasing share of revenue, recent data collected by The Trichordist reveals that these services pay very different rates per stream. To calculate the payments they have used information on the income of an independent label with a catalog of 150 albums that generates more than 115 million streaming reproductions.

For example, Napster, once the number one public enemy of record labels, provides some of the most generous transmission rates in the industry. On the negative side, the brand currently has a market share of less than 1%, so it is unlikely that most artists get a high volume of reproductions on an album.

On the other side of the equation, YouTube has the highest number of views per song, but the lowest payment for broadcasting by far. About 1,500 views are needed to earn a single dollar on the Google-owned video platform. On the other hand, Spotify, the most prominent player in the transmission market, is in the medium to low end of the compensation spectrum, paying worse than Deezer or Amazon. Apple Music and Pandora are two of the most generous.

Infographics | Visual Capitalist