I’m going to dispel some myths here and show you just how hard it is to make a decent monthly income in the industry and why you’re seeing the word Indie artist everywhere.
An Indie artist, slang for (Independent artist) is just that, they are not under a contract from any record label. The reason most musicians aren’t is simple, Record labels & management companies take upwards of 70% of royalties that artists make. As harsh as that sounds, record labels and management companies invest huge amounts of money on new artist for promotion, studio time and tours. They have to recoup their investment somehow and being in the business for a number of years as an artist/manager and booking agent I can tell you it’s not an easy business to get into, it’s expensive and time consuming but we do it because we love music.
Let’s look at some numbers on what an artist makes from streaming and how many plays it would take just to earn a minimum monthly wage of $1,400.00 you’ll be shocked!!
Service Stream Rate per play Plays needed for minimum wage monthly
Napster 0.01900 77.474
Tidal 0.01250 177.604
Apple Music 0.00735 200.272
Spotify 0.00437 336,169
Amazon 0.00402 366,169
YouTube 0.00069 2,133,133
Although streaming services like Spotify and Apple may offer convenience to fans artists are getting more than a raw deal. These services are all either advertisement supported or subscription based and on average North Americans listened to 32 hours per week in 2017 and yes it’s gone up since then but artists still are not getting a fair deal. We used to have hope of making a living when there were MP3’s and C.D. sales but with streaming were giving our music away. Why then do artists do it, it’s called the exposure game, as artists we need it and it’s a numbers game, the more people here it the more people will listen to our music. The streaming services have the power for the time being. Artists are starting to request their music not be on different services and this movement is starting to take hold. The digital age is a move in the right direction but royalty payments need to be changed drastically.
People have to realize royalty payments get split between record labels, producers, artists and songwriters. So the next time you want to stream a song remember, your not supporting the artist at all… your support the streaming service. In short if you like an artist and want to support them go to their site and buy the MP3 or physical album. For more information from a reliable source visit Consumers Advocate.org, they have done their research and can give you a good breakdown on the streaming services and who's the best : Consumers Advocate.org