Music Streaming Royalty Calculator


What Streaming Music Services Pay (Updated for 2020)

Streaming Calculator

Enter the number of streams to see an estimate of royalties you would make for each of the most popular streaming music apps, including Spotify, Apple Music, Tidal, Deezer, YouTube, Google Play, Amazon Music and Napster.

The Streaming Calculator will show you how much you would make in each streaming service. The individual royalty calculator will let you input a different number of streams for each streaming music service and see how much you can expect to make in total revenue.

Calculate how much royalties you will earn from the most popular streaming music services – Spotify, Pandora, Apple Music, Deezer, and more.

Calculate how much music royalties you will earn from the most popular music streaming services. You must understand precisely what streaming music services pay for each stream. If you are an artist, composer, writer, producer, or musician understand streaming royalties and how to make money streaming your music is essential to your music career.

Forecast your music royalties, understand Spotify royalties calculation, music streaming service payout with my streaming royalties calculator. My royalty calculator includes a Spotify revenue calculator in addition to a music royalty calculator for music streaming services such as Deezer, Apple Music pay per stream, Pandora, Amazon, and more. 

Spotify Royalties Calculator - How do music artists make money from Spotify?

Artist makes money from Spotify on a per-stream basis.  Artist tare paid for each 30-second stream of their song. So if you are a music connoisseur and dislike a track at least give the steam 30-seconds so the artist will get paid.

Streaming Calculator Chart

So if you are an artist, you are wondering how much do you get paid per stream. You must understand this per stream amount because publishing companies and record labels take anywhere from 0 - 100% depending on the deal you sign. Take a look at the chart below.

Music Streaming Service Payout Chart

How Music Royalties Work in The Music Industry

People with these titles receive or distribute music royalties. 

PUBLISHERS - Music Publishers
The publisher is the person/company that is responsible and liable for ensuring proper copyright holders receive funds for the use of their music. For example, a music publisher will obtain the copyright from the songwriter in exchange for royalty privileges. They also issue licenses for the use of music they represent as well as collect licensing fees. These fees get split between the publisher and the songwriter.

PROs collect performance royalties and distribute monies to the songwriter and music publisher. PROs also track performances and broadcasting of registered music played in public. Reputable PROs include ASCAP, BMI, and SESAC.

MECHANICAL RIGHTS AGENCY - Manage copyrighted material
MRAs, Mechanical rights agencies manage and oversee mechanical licensing rights for the music publisher. They also issue those mechanical rights to anyone reproducing and distributing copyrighted musical compositions. These agencies will charge a percentage of all royalties collected for their professional services.

SONGWRITERS - Innovator, Creator, Artist
Songwriters are those who write both the music and lyrics for a song. Songwriters receive either mechanical, performance, or sync royalties depending on the usage of their recordings. Or all if they are independent and own, perform and distribute their music through an independent publisher. 

Sync licensing agencies acquire the rights from record labels and music publishers to issue licenses for syncing music with visual media, movies, videos, advertisements and such. They also distribute royalties for sync licenses to whoever owns the master recording rights. The detail is in who owns the master recording rights. 

A performing artist is anyone who performs the songwriter’s original work. Performers do not have publishing rights unless they are also the songwriter. Additionally, public performances of copyrighted music will produce performance royalty revenue for songwriters. This is usually collected and overseen by the 

RECORD LABELS - The Connect with Magazines, Streaming Companies and Such
Record labels do the marketing and distribution of the artist’s recordings. Record labels create contracts that give them recording rights in exchange for royalty payments to the artist.  Record labels usually try to get master rights to a recorded song. Record labels want to create royalty income from mechanical and performance royalties, usually desiring most of the royalties in exchange for 1-time payments to the artist. If an artist is in distress they will often take the offer of upfront payment instead of long term residual. The best deals allow the record label and artist to win over the long haul. 

What are mechanical royalties? Mechanical Royalties

I will keep it simple.

Mechanical royalties are a royalty paid to a songwriter whenever a copy of one of their songs is mad. For instance, when a record label presses a CD of your song, you are due a mechanical royalty. That is the basic story, but it gets a little more complicated.

Mechanical royalties must be paid by a third-party for the recording, manufacture, and distribution of copyright-protected music. Yes, there are mechanical royalties for streaming services like Spotify.

Digital mechanical royalties include

  • All mechanical royalties from Deezer, Spotify, YouTube Music, Apple Music, and other streaming sites are generated from every single stream.
  • Mechanical royalties from download stores like iTunes are generated from every single sale.
  • Performance royalties from radio broadcasts, television, live concert performances.
  • YouTube Sync Publishing royalties for any video on YouTube that contains your song. ( This still has issues, because people can't use the song based on the YouTube flagging protected content)

How Do You As An Artist Collect All Your Streaming Money

If you are the publisher, songwriter, Copywrite owner and performer you will most likely receive all of your money BUT just not from one place. 

If your music is played on a streaming platform you will receive your per-stream rate if the music publisher does not take a cut. Publishers such as CD Baby, Tunecore, DistroKid all behave differently. For example, CD Baby takes 15% of your streaming revenue. Companies like DistroKid pay you all your money per stream directly to a PayPal account. 

Not for example if your music is played in a restaurant, coffee shop or something of that nature you will be paid a PRO. Companies SoundExchange manages another portion of your royalty revenue. 

Conclusion the royalties SoundExchange collects and distributes is for the featured artist and the sound recording copyright owner. ASCAP, BMI, and SESAC collect and distribute royalties for the songwriter, composer, and publisher for the musical composition. 

Can you get paid for making Spotify playlists?

Yes, you can absolutely get paid from making the Spotify playlist. If you are the curator of a popular playlist that also has your music on this playlist. You will get paid from Spotify. As a matter of fact, Spotify suggests creating playlists. I can say it is easy to get lost in making money, but the most important goal is creating good music and then curating a great playlist that is congruent with your artistic, musical tastes. 

How much are Spotify royalties?

I answered this question above but I will answer it again for clarity. Spotify pays .00437 per stream. If you had 10 streams you would receive .044 cents, if you had 100 streams you would receive approx .44 cents if you had 1000 streams you would receive $4.37 if you had 10,000 streams you would receive approx $43.70 cents, if you had 100,000 you would receive approx.  437, if you had 500,000 streams in a month you would receive approx $2185. 

What streaming service pays the most?

Napster has about 5 million subscribers and pays almost 2 cents per stream. But they lose over $5 dollars per subscriber. So the question is, how long can the continue to do business like this. If you are an artist you must take this into consideration. You would hate to put an entire marketing strategy, resources, and money into a business that could not pay or worse ended up going out of business. Again, I am not suggesting that Napster will fail or that they do not pay but rather the difficulty streaming has placed on the entire music industry. 

Social Media and Music Royalties

Facebook has now joined the music streaming game. They are now paying artists based on streams. Platforms like DistroKid and CD Baby have now made it easier to opt into the revenue sharing program. Additionally, it is increasingly important to implement social media into any artist marketing program. Social media can be powerful when you have the right perspective and use social media as a tool. Social can be addicting and for many artists can take them away from the creative mindset. Here is a look at my Instagram page to see how I use it @rafaselase

Music Highest-Paid Streaming Artist

Understanding music streaming is not only intriguing to me but a learning moment in the history and transformation of the music industry. So of the highest-paid streaming artist are also some of music most popular artists of all time.

In reality, the artist may not receive the royalties unless they have the above mentioned, copyrights, publishing, and performing rights. Hopefully, with this new knowledge record labels, distribution companies and artist can come up with partnerships the work for both parties and provide the environment for sustainable residual revenue and wealth for the artist and the label that may invest in the artist.

Here is a list of the top 20 Streaming artists in 2019

(Revenue numbers include sales, streaming, publishing and touring)

As always the majority of the artist revenue is touring but the residual check from streaming royalties is something all of us artists should strive for.

You will find at the top of the list is Taylor Swift. Her success and ability to cross-pollinate into many different communities worldwide is one of the big reasons for her success. Taylor benefits from many things including her music and brand. Taylor Swift should be commending for her staying power and resilience obstalces and challenges. 


  1. Taylor Swift - $99.6 Million
  2. Bruce Springsteen - $53 million
  3. Drake $52.5 Million
  4. Kenny Chesney - $42.5 Million
  5. Ed Sheeran - $41.8 Million
  6. Eagles - $37.5 Million
  7. Justin Timberlake - $37.4 Million
  8. Elton John - $36.3 Million
  9. Billy Joel - $35.8 Million
  10. Pink - $35.5 Million
  11. Beyonce - $33.1 Million
  12. Bruno Mars - $32.6 Million
  13. Jay - Z - $32.5 Million
  14. Luke Bryan - $23.8 Million
  15. Post Malone - $22.3 Million
  16. U2 - $21.4 Million
  17. Metallica - $19.6 Million
  18. Maroon 5 - $19.3 Million
  19. Journey - $19.1 Million
  20. Trans-Siberian Orchestra - 18.5 Million

I found it odd that I did not see Kanye West on this list. Kanye is still one of the most-streamed artists, but the fact that he has not toured much has taken a significant hit on his total revenue.

Kanye has taken a different approach with his new Sunday service concert appraoch that includes everyday people. Not a big revenue generator but most definitely a favorite for people that enjoy his music. Art at work! 


Getting on High-Quality Spotify Playlists

This is one of the most popular questions artists, and small labels ask. The music business is business make no mistake about that. But Spotify, Apple Music, Pandora, and others take playlist curation and placement seriously. 

Spotify Algorithmic Playlists - Stream Royalty Calculator

For me personally, I have had two of my songs on Spotify editorial playlists. But with that being said Spotify has an algorithmic playlist that is equally powerful. Algorithmic playlist generated by artificial intelligence for each Spotify user. And lastly, they have user/subscriber generated playlists. These playlists are a great way to increase your Spotify royalties. Try getting yourself added to a popular playlist that is congruent with your music. Then use our Spotify royalties calculator to estimate your streaming royalties payout. 

Spotify Playlist Hierarchy 

1. Spotify Editorial - Generated by Real Human Spotify Expert Genre Curators

2. Spotify Algorightmic - Generated by Spotify AI and suggested to subscribers

3. Spotify User Playlists - Created by Spotify users/subscribers

Get on a Playlist

Here is a list of 7 the highest quality playlists in genres that I specifically focus on

  • Jazz Gospel Playlist
  • Chill Playlists for Studying
  • R & B
  • Meditation Music
  • Relaxing Piano Music
  • Jazz Music

 Other Royalty Calculator Sites

As you know this is a serious business. So here is a list of other sites with royalty calculators for your research and understanding. If you see numbers that are off, you have the knowledge to dig deeper.


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