Apple Music, let’s face it, is, just like iTunes, an established service and name. So artists and producers alike would expect, when their music is up on their services, to actually get paid. Last year it was discovered artists wouldn’t be paid anything on free trial plays. As almost of the users 99,9% would be on a three-month free trial, and only rolling into a paid relationship after that point, only after the user rolled into a paid account would artists get paid. The zero-pay decision was first reported by Digital Music News, after receiving a leaked contract from an independent label.
We’ll do the math for you: 600 plays on trial accounts translates into one dollar. Of course, the music industry changed. These days, there are, or at least seem to be, much less incentives to actually own and thus buy music.
Any (aspiring) artist at one point need to be fully aware of the fact big numbers rule when it comes to streaming income. Of course, for many artists, more facts come into play. Nex to the obvious day job, touring, performing on stage, licensing, selling merchandise and, sometimes, still sell hard copies like CD’s during events, can bring money in. So where does this leave you as a (studio) artist or an aspiring up and (maybe) coming one?
Well, you will have to face this fact: streaming revenues, and this is not only on Apple Music, are extremely low. Yes they do add up, but it might be wise to have a realistic viewpoint when releasing your music: until you reach many tens of millions of plays which sustain over time, your income from streaming will be limited to say the least. And don’t be surprised if it doesn’t cover your distribution costs, let alone your production costs.
To many artists this won’t matter too much. You are proud about the music you are making and the boost one gets from seeying your music released and available to the masses, is for most of you satisfying in itself. You might ask if there are ways around these big numbers for streaming income. The quick answer would be: no easy ones. However, there are ways to cranck up your income over time. Meanwhile, keep making music. To true artists this won’t even be a choice anyway, as you simply have to create. In coming articles we’ll dive into possible solutions for you.