Apple provides a subscription-based music streaming service, but unlike Spotify and other services, it only allows verified artists to upload their music. This makes it a little harder to get your music on their service, but it ultimately legitimizes an artist in the listener’s mind. It is akin to having a record label instead of independently distributing your music.
Your Earnings Depend on The Number of Plays
Unlike CD sales of the past, or iTunes music, artists earn proportional to the number of plays, not sales. Additionally, Apple Music promotes popular artists which get a lot of listeners, further popularizing their music. Many artists employ a variety of methods to get Apple Music plays, in hopes of increasing their revenue.
There Is No Free Version of Apple Music
Unlike Spotify and other music streaming services, Apple Music is not supported by ads. This means that there is no free version of the app, and artists should understand that this also means that only users that are willing to pay the subscription will have access to their music.
Note that, while Apple Music has no free (ad-supported) version, users can listen for free during the trial period which is a whopping three months. Nonetheless, they would lose access to the music once the trial period ends.
Anyone Can Use Apple Music, Not Just Apple Users
Contrary to popular belief, Apple Music is not exclusive to iPhones, iPads and MacBook’s. Users on PC and Android can easily download the app from their respective stores (or Apple’s official website) and subscribe to the service.
Artists should not assume that Apple Music equates to limiting your audience to only Apple users, because it simply isn’t true. However, Apple Music is more prevalent among Apple users.
How Much Do Artists Get Paid for Having Music on Apple Music?
As we’ve previously mentioned, Apple Music pays artists according to the number of plays. That is known as a pay-per-stream model. As of 2021, Apple has revealed that the company pays a penny to the artist for every time their music is streamed. If you’re not adept at math – that translates to a hundred dollars for every 10 thousand streams.
Of course, this is nothing when compared to the amount of money that successful artists could make in the past by selling their music. Additionally, that penny doesn’t go directly to the artist but through an intermediary that then pays the artist (usually less). However, it is worth noting that Apple’s rate is still higher than market leaders such as Spotify. According to multiple sources, Spotify pays a third of that amount to its artists, making Apple Music the more profitable income stream for artists to pursue.
Music streaming has changed the music industry for artists and labels, drastically changing their revenue streams. Apple Music is among the top apps used for legal music streaming, and many artists use the service to popularize their musical creations and earn a somewhat decent income doing so.