Artists' earnings from streaming services revealed

New figures from Europe show that for every €9.99 monthly subscription to music streaming services such as Spotify and Deezer, only 68 cents go directly to the artist.

French industry trade body SNEP, whose members include labels Sony Music, Universal Music and Warner Music, conducted a survey with business firm Ernst & Young to determine how cash is distributed from payments to subscription streaming services.

And, according to the figures highlighted by Music Business Worldwide, major labels take €4.56 of payments, with €2.08 going to the digital platform holders, €1 to publishers and songwriters, and 68 cents direct to the artists. The remaining cash goes to the government in the form of tax.

Last year, Motley Crue’s Nikki Sixx called on fellow musicians to stand up for themselves to demand a fairer payment from digital services.

He said: “A record label signs an artist to sell music at different destinations. They license music to streaming companies, and when they do, they get around 70% of the money. On downloads, just like on CDs, they pay a royalty to the artist. But on streaming they don’t – they use a legal loophole called ‘breakage.’

“This is something artist lawyers need to address. They need to be strong and protect the artist, not the labels. We should all get paid for our music and force an honest payment plan that ensures new artists have a future, as well as established artists.”

Scott Munro
Louder e-commerce editor

Scott has spent 35 years in newspapers, magazines and online as an editor, production editor, sub-editor, designer, writer and reviewer. Scott joined our news desk in the summer of 2014 before moving to the e-commerce team in 2020. Scott keeps Louder’s buyer’s guides up to date, writes about the best deals for music fans, keeps on top of the latest tech releases and reviews headphones, speakers, earplugs and more. Over the last 10 years, Scott has written more than 11,000 articles across Louder, Classic Rock, Metal Hammer and Prog. He's previously written for publications including IGN, the Sunday Mirror, Daily Record and The Herald newspapers, covering everything from daily news and weekly features, to tech reviews, video games, travel and whisky. Scott's favourite bands are Fields Of The Nephilim, The Cure, New Model Army, All About Eve, The Mission, Cocteau Twins, Drab Majesty, Marillion and Rush.