As part of our continuing efforts to serve the music industry and its creators, Billboard now features a royalty calculator for Spotify and Apple Music for readers.
Created by Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, a legal and consulting firm that specializes in the music industry, the calculator is based on its analysis of U.S. data collected from direct source payers.
“Gone are the days where artists cannot fathom the value of a stream,” said Manett entertainment group leader Jordan Bromley in a statement. “Knowledge is power, data is paramount, and simple answers and insights are now available for all. This offering is just one of many coming to help every creator and rights holder understand the true value of what they own.”
The calculator is easy to use. Simply plug in the number of streams generated by a song or album, and the app will provide:
- The total payout for that number of streams
- The sound recording payout to the copyright owner
- Mechanical royalties paid to the music publisher (which then pays the songwriter)
- Performance royalties paid to performance rights organizations (PROs) ASCAP, BMI, GMR and SESAC, who in turn pay songwriters and publishers
The amount calculated will represents a blended rate of all the tiers offered by the services. So in the case of Spotify, the resulting amount calculated will be based on a blended rate from its paid tier; ad-supported tier; and other tiers; while the Apple rate is also a blend from its various tiers.
The payout totals are based on the subscriber fees that Spotify and Apple collect from subscribers each month and the numbers of plays. Because those numbers fluctuate, the calculator will be updated on a monthly basis, but usually with a three-month lag, due to when the services information becomes available.
At a glance, Apple generates higher per play rates than Spotify, but due to the latter platform’s larger subscriber base, it paid more collectively to U.S. labels and publishers in the first six months of 2023— $1.84 billion to Apple Music’s $1.68 billion, according to data supplied to Billboard by industry sources. Consequently, Spotify’s lower per play rate is due to its tiers collectively having more than twice as many plays as the combined total streams generated by the tiers in the Apple system for the first six months of 2023.
Access the royalty calculator here.
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