Apple Music pays music rights-holders a penny per stream on average, the streaming service revealed in a letter to artists, labels and publishers today (April 16), as first reported by The Wall Street Journal.
The streaming service's payouts come out of monthly subscription revenue from users. While the exact payout varies by subscription plan and country, the company said in the letter, which was reviewed by Billboard, that it averaged a penny per stream for individual paid plans in 2020. The figure does not take family plans into account.
A penny per stream is roughly double Spotify's average rate of around one-third to one-half of a penny per stream. Both services pay rights-holders -- like record labels and publishers -- based on the share of total streams that their artists bring in, after which those rights-holders pay artists based on their agreements.