Artist's Income Per Spotify Play: Fraction of a Cent

iTunes Match pays $0.003 per play
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 4, 2012 2:53 PM CDT
Artist's Income Per Spotify Play: Fraction of a Cent
An Associated Press reporter demonstrates Spotify during a product review in San Francisco, Tuesday, July 19, 2011.   (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

Some may call Spotify the savior of the music industry—but for lesser-known artists, it doesn't appear to be a cash cow. The Next Web reviews analyses of what bands are making from Spotify and Apple's iTunes Match, and the numbers aren't impressive. On Spotify, a band reports making $0.0097 per play, while on iTunes Match it's $0.0033. Because they're paying $50 to get their music on the services, they'd need 5,171 Spotify plays or 15,127 iTunes Match plays to break even. A web developer's analyses finds similar figures.

It's important to note that iTunes Match requires a user to purchase the song before gaining access to streaming. Still, for a relatively unknown band, those figures pose a serious challenge. "The moral of the story? If you hear a band that you love on your favorite streaming service, then buy their stuff outright from wherever you can find it," writes Matthew Panzarino. Otherwise, they may not be around long. (More Spotify stories.)

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