The answer to this question is not a simple one. While Spotify, Tidal, Google Music and Pandora all pay their artists differently, each company’s payments are dependent on different factors.
Clear winners so far, according to statistics, are Napster with $0.019 per stream, Tidal at $0.0125 and Apple at $0.00735 per stream. However, what does “getting paid” mean? Does that account for PR? When music streaming services recommend music they introduce millions of fans to artists’ tracks which then become more famous, stimulating people to buy MP3s and pay the artists even more.
Google Music and Spotify both have an artist dashboard where artists can see how many people have played their songs and which listeners interacted with them the most. This means that when somebody likes or comments on your song, it is seen by other fans on the service who can then become followers. It also means that this company values artists’ voices in addition to their financial contributions.
So in terms of rewards, payouts to artists don’t necessarily equal how much they’re getting from these services. You could say that the fact they’re being advertised is worth a ton of money, so what really matters is who gets recommended more and how. And if you’re an artist probably a smart long-term plan would be to select a service that’ll give you more exposure. The more people know, the better.
Since there is no definitive answer to this question, we recommend visiting individual company websites and reading through their artist policies before making your choice as to which service you want to use. These are many factors when it comes to deciding which service is more beneficial financially to artists. But it’s probably worth starting with one that has a huge fan base like Spotify with its 345 000 000 joyful users. More exposure? Great.
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