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Billboard Presents the Royalty Calculator: See What Your Streams Are Worth

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As part of our continuing efforts to serve the music industry and its creators, Billboard now features a royalty calculator for Spotify and Apple Music for readers.

The calculator below was created by Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, a legal and consulting firm that specializes in music industry law; and is based on the firm’s analysis of U.S. data collected from direct source payors.

The calculator is easy to use. Simply plug in the number of streams generated by a song or album, and the app will provide:

The total payout for that figure number of streams

The sound recording payout to the copyright owner

Mechanical royalties paid to the music publisher (which then pays the songwriter)

Performance royalties paid to performance rights organizations (PROs) ASCAP, BMI, GMR and SESAC

The amount calculated will represent a blended rate of all the tiers offered by the services. So, in the case of Spotify, the rate shown is a blend of its paid tier rate, its ad-supported tier rate, and other tiers; while the Apple rate is also a blend of its various tiers.

The payout totals are based on the subscriber fees that Spotify and Apple collect from subscribers each month and the number of plays. Because those numbers fluctuate, the calculator will be updated on a monthly basis, but usually with a three-month lag, due to when the services information becomes available. Currently, the rates shown are based on reported data from June.

At a glance, Apple generates higher per play rates than Spotify, but Spotify paid more overall to labels and publishers in the first six months of 2023 because of its larger subscriber base — $1.84 billion to Apple Music’s $1.68 billion, according to data supplied to Billboard by sources. Consequently, Spotify’s lower per play rate is due to its tiers collectively having more than twice as many plays as the combined total streams generated by the tiers in the Apple system for the first six months of 2023.

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