Another hiccup in my month, so next month the final Gig article, as I’ve had many questions regarding Online Streaming Rates, how big or small they are, how many sales does it take to make $100.00 or even $10.00?
So let’s look at this year’s rates, overall.
DSP Streaming (Digital Streaming Platform) ‘officially’ state that there is an established payment between $US0.003 and $US0.0084 per stream, with an average payout of $0.004 per stream… (But)
Firstly, and it should come as no surprise, Spotify the No. 1 streamer (36% of market share and counted 286 million monthly active users in Q1 2020, 1 million streams will net an artist in the $US3,000-$US6,000 range) has over 800 payout systems. So for them, plus Tidal, Apple Music, Amazon Music, and Deezer, etc. there is NO FIXED PAY PER STREAM RATE.
Core variables include listeners, country, currency rates, and time of day, if the streamer is on a free platform, ad-supported type, subscription, premium, special, high-quality stream, promotional, bonus stream, if distributed by a third party – their ‘rate’, pricing, and discount; the list goes on and on.
According to Forbes:
“… For 1 million plays of a song, artists receive roughly the following payout from these streaming services:
Amazon Music $5,000
Apple Music $5,000-$5,500
Google Play $12,000
Here’s a current Streaming Music Royalty Calculator:
The comprehensive concern is of course the manipulation of artist royalties as the transparency and verification of them is beyond the purview of most creators. If history is the yardstick, precedent indicates that the artist gets the short end of the financial stick, especially in an opaque system. The ‘winners’ in this scenario are the streamers and the major labels. Of course, there’s more concern with the introduction of Al or ‘engineered filtration units.
At the core of all streaming services is the big ‘influencer’, the Algorithm Recommender. Though more obviously found at the heart of personalised playlists, it extends to ‘discovery’ elements such as those associated to pitch songs to a streamer’s personalised playlist in the passive form, what it (or other big brother types) deem as ‘similar content’, the ones showcased near your selection, you’re listening to or looking at. (YouTube). On YouTube, recommendations represent 70% of the total time users spend on the platform.
So let’s break it down a bit more. Believe Digital (2020) estimates streaming from your own playlists or searching for your favourite album or artist; 68% of total streams are streamer driven, 14% of streams are algorithmic driven, and 10% editorial driven.
So the idea could be, as an artist, to obtain access via, algorithmic, then editorial to streamer driven (passive), and then streamer driven ‘active’ (choice). Content or behavioural similarities are the entry door data points.
First order of business to hurdle this, is to complete the basic bureaucratic information requirements when you submit your compositions/songs to ‘distributors (aka metadata) that you should have already registered with APRA/PPCA, etc. see (insert 1st article link). So, title, label/self, main genre, secondary genre, lyrics, release date ISRC number etc. This is ultra important as it identifies you and your songs and their classifications across the streaming service landscapes.
Once directly registered, you’re in the streaming Algorithm platform maelstrom, affected by the provider’s content analysing system that expands your basic data. Your songs, their digital DNA are analysed as raw data, tagged with narrow content markers that generate content similarity recommendations.
Some ways to ‘encourage’ this Algorithmic system are to identify ‘lateral acts’, ones you the artist have an affinity with your sonically creative neighbours. Get your fans to develop playlists that feature these artists, the more the better. This helps ‘Algy’ understand your‘ position’ in the genre sweepstakes. Additionally, there are weekly-developed playlists and suggestions from the Streamers, built to encourage engagement. Get on those. There’s also the social network search and input Algorithmic system, where you link your playlist or write about your record and your liking of the lateral artist.
A little more than half of those on streaming services say that this Algorithmic Analysis is becoming the primary source of their music discovery. As example, learn about Spotify AI:
Naturally, these can be plugged into touring, live tracks, and adjunct to merchandise competitions, raising the profile, the number of mentions on the net.
Then there’s the marketing aspect of juicing up streaming sales, another matter deserving attention.
Earlier this year the UK Parliament looked into streaming and came out the other end with milquetoast responses, leading nowhere and generally just kicking the problem down the road referring it to their ACCC, assuring that nothing much will ever happen.
Here’s what 150 musicians signed up to and asked the UK government:
The story of how this all came to be can be sourced via this interesting Research Article:
The bottom line is that with every new technology Artists get the shaft; from the earliest commercial medium for recording and reproducing sound (1896 – 1915) to Acetate Disc (misnamed as it’s actually an aluminium disc coated with nitrocellulose lacquer) to Vinyl, to Compact Disk, to a stumbling variety of tapes, cassette, DAT, then mini-disc, on and on…
In each era of technological evolution, cost decrease in production and distribution benefiting Record Companies with artist royalties deteriorating to now; the lowest they have ever been, with streaming.
Unions, Artists ‘representative’ groups, manager’s representatives, State based music industry groups, the usual suspect have done little; that’s beyond discussion; clearly the results of their advocacy is no change, same as it ever was….
One thing that still has the most positive uplifting effect, the live show, the wonder of performing, the great gig in the sky.. one with the audience, where you get paid and earn from Merchandise, on the spot…. so next month let’s get some tips…