REPORT: Price Per Stream, YouTube Is Still The Biggest Problem For Artists

A new report from The Trichordist, a group that promotes itself as “Artists For An Ethical and Sustainable Internet,” released in March this year, examines the updates to the streaming royalties that all major and minor platforms afford to artists. It’s no secret that musicians receive less than one cent per stream and it often takes upwards of millions of streams to begin to see a return on streaming, but it still accounts for 64% of all recorded music revenues by sheer volume alone.

Trichordist breaks down how they calculated the streams per song/album rate they report (these might vary slightly from the actual numbers), but one of the main focuses of the report is market share by streams (MSS) and market share by revenue (MSR).

Again, based on sheer volume, it’s no surprise that Spotify commands an epic MSR of 44% while only accounting for 22% MSS. On the other hand, Apple Music continues to be the best bang for an artist’s buck, with just a mere 6.36% MSS and a 24.79% MSR.

Still, Trichordist maintains that the biggest streaming service hampering musicians today is the YouTube Content ID service, which has a massive 51% MSS, over half of all streams, yet a meager 6.42% MSR.

“The biggest takeaway by far is that YouTube’s Content ID, shows a whopping 51% of all streams generate only 6.4% of revenue,” reports Trichordist. “Read that again. This is your value gap. Over 50% of all music streams generate less than 7% of revenue.”

Over 86% of total streams are accounted for in just the top 10 services, including Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube, Facebook, Amazon, and Pandora. YouTube Red, which the Google-owned company has tried to push on users for years, accounts for just 0.23% MSS, while TIDAL is just 0.11%; despite boasting higher-than-normal streaming quality, their library and UI, not to mention late-to-the-party launch and subsequent market share, just don’t match up.

You can see the full breakdown below and read the full report via Trichordist here.


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