Music Streaming Royalties Calculator

With the rise and popularity of streaming services such as Spotify, Apple Music, and Tidal, more musicians than ever are interested in keeping track of the royalties they earn for spins. Although on its face it may seem like a hard number that stays fixed for periods of time and then occasionally changes, royalties from streaming services often depend on what app you’re being streamed on, and more specifically, what kind of account the listener is using.

For example, a paying Spotify user’s play will earn you more of a % of a cent than a casual free app user. For this reason, the pay per stream numbers for different services are actually averages of paid and unpaid streams, how many subscribers you have, and other factors.

Also, since the average pay per stream for most of the services is less than 3/4 of a cent, figuring for the streaming royalties you should be collecting can become a hairy math problem.

For this reason, we wanted artists to have access to this Royalties or Earnings Calculator.  This information is current as of Summer, 2021.



Spotify pays about: $0.00492 cents per stream, with their royalties paying out between 0.005 and 0.003 of a cent depending on the users’ account type, the users’ geographical region, and other fluctuations in rate. 



YouTube Red pays: $0.008 cents per stream, but less if the user isn’t a Red subscriber.



Tidal pays: $0.009 cents per stream, but is a members only service.



And Apple Music, in a daring move, now pays $0.01 per play. One whole cent! There is hope my friends.


There are two kinds of streaming services, non-interactive and on-demand. Non-interactive services are the digital radio companies that program and play their own music from listservs and DJ playlists, such as Pandora, XM, and Sirius. These companies pay royalties, but since listeners can’t choose the music themselves, artists make far less from these companies, unless they have a major digital radio campaign running, which we can help you with.

Far more common, and more lucrative, are the on-demand services such as Spotify, Apple Music, Tidal, and others. These allow the listener to choose what they want to hear and therefore drive far more plays for the artist.


As you can see, royalties and their calculation is a complex mixture of different models operating at once. If a percentage of your streams on Youtube come from Red subscribers you can expect an average closer to one cent, but if it’s just anyone watching your ContentID videos that are automatically uploaded from your distributor, you’ll earn more like $0.003, closer to Spotify rates. Similarly, although Amazon Unlimited pays the highest rate at $0.011 per stream, Amazon Prime, its most commonly used service, only pays out $0.003 for music streams, again comparable to Spotify.

Feel free to use our calculator to estimate the earnings you’re owed, and contact us at Planetary Group for all your streaming promotion needs and for more info on what services we offer for groups looking to get ahead in the game. Call today at (323) 952-5050 or fill out our form!