This is a great read for all aspiring musicians. Over on Reddit, an independent musician by the name of Samuel Orson did a full breakdown of his earnings across multiple platforms with some great commentary to boot. Have a look for yourself:
I would like to show the actually breakdown of where the money goes across a variety of different music distribution platforms, so you can decide for yourself what is fair, and what is not. I decided to publicly publish all my financial information for the past year. I am an independent musician, that creates instrumental guitar music. I am not bringing home the big bucks, but I feel I have enough information to give an accurate financial depiction. I have all the charts and screenshots published in an imgur link at the bottom of this post. If you check them out and believe that I am missing some valuable insight, please let me know and I can edit that information into this post. Let us begin.
I get my stats from the service DistroKid. Please do not think this is just an ad for distrokid, it s not. In fact, the reporting analytics are piss poor, which only allows me to give insight towards Itunes and Spotify. I can see the earnings from all the other services, but don’t have any stats streams/downloads etc.
Itunes. For every sale on Itunes I keep 77% of the sale. So $0.77 cents per song. I feel that is pretty fair for a behemoth such as Apple. Not much more to it than that, pretty straight forward.
Bandcamp is a bit more complex. They say they take 15% as their cut from each sale, but after all the paypal fees, it comes out to be much less. When somebody buys my album of of bandcamp for $5.00, I get $3.90 in my paypal account. That is 78%, about the same as Itunes. Important to note however, the more somebody pays for an album the more this percentage goes up. If somebody pays $10 for an album, I get 8.06, so about 80%, but more or less the same.
I offer my music for free on bandcamp, with the option to pay. This is just a personal preference, and I believe it fosters a better community of sharing and creation. My revenue from bandcamp (from my 2 album sales, not including individual song sales) has been $1,025. From that, 619 people downloaded them for free, and 160 decided to pay. If you break it down by revenue from total downloads, it comes out to be $1.31 per album. Of those who decided to pay, the average price that was chosen was $6.40. For the time being, I will continue to offer my music for free on bandcamp. I believe if people want it they will download it anyway, and I rather be in control of the channels that they are getting it from.
Now for the Streaming.
Spotify. All in all I have had 176,548 streams on Spotify, which has yielded $706.02. This comes out to be $.004 a stream. This means for every million streams the artist gets paid $4,000.
Youtube. I believe this is the biggest competitor to spotify. From 356,064 streams on Youtube, I have yielded $145.55. This is with every fucking ad option selected. That comes out to be $.0004 per stream. This comes out to be $400 per million streams. Also, keep in mind that a lot of the music on youtube is not on the artist’s channels, in which case they are getting nothing.
Unfortunately Distrokid analytics are not that great, so I can not provide any insight on the following services, but I can show you how much I made from each. I would be really interested to see the stream sats for Tidal and Google Play and Apple Music, to see how they relate to spotify. I will update everybody as soon as distrokid gets their shit together and I can report it.
Itunes Match: $0.29
Apple Music: $36.44
YT music: $1.00
Groove Streaming: $0.09
Groove Downloads: $0.70
Google Play: $8.04
Google Play all Access: $14.03
I’ll leave with this information and decide for yourself the best way to support artists. When I get updated statistics I will post them. Again, don’t think this is an ad for Distrokid. If anything this is a thinly veiled attempt to draw attention to my music by offering you something of value in return.