Industry Insight, Resource

The Guide to Music Streaming Platforms

Frances Katz
Frances Katz on Jun 12, 2018

Last year, streaming platforms were the music industry's biggest source of revenue, surpassing physical sales and digital downloads. While the music industry is seeing a surge for streaming, it’s still not a direct path to riches for the beginning, and even the experienced, songwriter.

As the industry evolves, and there is more support for equal payouts, that could change. In the meantime, if you’re trying to decide which streaming platform to distribute your songs on, here is a list of what the top streaming services are paying songwriters as of 2018. While some don’t have the market share or the international reach of the bigger players, the payout to songwriters is in some cases double what Spotify or YouTube are offering - something to keep in mind as you make your decisions.


Napster/Rhapsody

Rhapsody, now Napster

Launched: 1999; In present form 2008, after acquisition by Roxio

Subscribers: 4.5 million worldwide
Market share: 1.75%
Payout:  $0.01682 per play  

Offices: Seattle, New York, San Francisco, Brazil, Germany

To create an account and learn more about streaming your music, go here.

Tidal

Tidal

Launched: 2014; relaunched in 2015 after an acquisition by Jay-Z in 2015.

Subscribers: Estimated 3 million subscribers in 52 countries
Market Share: N/A
Payout: $0.01284 per stream

Offices: Sweden

To create an account and learn more about streaming your music, go here.

Apple Apple Music

Launched: June 2016

Subscribers: Estimated 36 million and  22.3 percent market share in the US. Available in over 100 countries worldwide.
Market Share: 16%
Payout: $0.00783 per stream (nearly double current Spotify rate)

Offices: Worldwide

To create an account and learn more about streaming your music, go here.

Amazon Amazon Music

Launched: 2007, Amazon Music Unlimited launched in 2016.

Subscribers: Jeff Bezos says there are 100 million Prime subscribers worldwide. Prime Music is included with Prime membership. There is an additional monthly fee for the unlimited music service.
Market Share: 3.8%
Payout: $0.0074 per play.

Offices: San Francisco, Seattle, Santa Monica, Munich, Japan, Mexico, England, India, Australia

To create an account and learn more about streaming your music, go here.

Deezer download-1

Launched: 2007 in France; 2016 in the U.S.

Subscribers: 14 million in 180 countries
Market Share: 3.24% in the U.S.
Payout: $0.0056 per play

Offices: Colorado, Florida, Mexico, London, Amsterdam, Berlin, Barcelona, Singapore

To create an account and learn more about streaming your music, go here.

Soundcloud SoundCloud

Launched: 2007 Stockholm, Sweden

Subscribers: 40 million registered users (July 2013), 175 million unique monthly listeners (Dec. 2014)
Market Share: N/A
Payout: $0.0056 per play

Offices: New York City, Los Angeles, London, Berlin

To create an account and learn more about streaming your music, go here.

Google Play Music (formerly Android Play) 

Launched: 2011

Subscribers: Seven million, in 63 countries
Market Share N/A
Payout: $0.00611 per stream, which is actually lower than it was in 2015.

Offices: Worldwide

To create an account and learn more about streaming your music, go here.

Spotify

Launched: 2008

Subscribers: 75 million (paid), worldwide

Market Share: 52% in the U.S. 

Payout: $0.0038 per play

Offices: New York, Belgium, Germany, Canada, Denmark, Spain, Finland, France, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Sweden, United Kingdom, Singapore, Mexico, Hong Kong

To create an account and learn more about streaming your music, go here.

Pandora 

Launched: Jan 2000 Pandora

Subscribers: US Only;  5.5 million subscribers
Market Share: 7.86%
Payouts: $0.00134 per stream

Offices: Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, Atlanta, Dallas, Detroit

To create an account and learn more about streaming your music, go here.

YouTube 

Launched: 2005, acquired by Google 2006. Ad supported service started in 2007. YouTube

Subscribers: There are an estimated one billion monthly mobile users. World wide.
Payout: $0.00074 per stream.

Offices: California, Switzerland, United Kingdom, Japan, New York, Seattle, Tennessee, Ireland, India, Singapore, Brazil, South Korea, Germany, Belgium, Miami, Mexico

To create an account and learn more about streaming your music, go here.


There are many and new streaming services popping up around the world, this is just a small set. Learn more about how Songtrust can help you collect your mechanical royalties by setting up an account today!

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