• Donny Willis

Apple Music is rumored to be paying artists a penny per stream, which is twice what Spotify pays.

According to a Friday article from the Wall Street Journal, Apple Music is informing artists that it will begin paying them one cent per stream.

The company informed artists in a message, which the outlet saw, and which will be posted on the platform's artist dashboard on Friday.

According to the WSJ, Apple stated in the letter, "As the debate about streaming royalties continues, we believe it is important to share our values." The company claims that any author should be paid equally and that a play has merit.

According to the text, Apple pays record labels 52 cents for every dollar it earns. Apple did not respond to Insider's request for comment right away.

Apple's latest penny-per-stream move is notable because it is one that Spotify, the current streaming king, has not made. It has 155 million paying subscribers and costs less than a penny per song downloaded, ranging from $.003 to $.005.

After that, Apple's proposed rate increase is roughly double what Spotify pays per stream. Insider reached out to Spotify for comment, but they did not respond right away.

Before the money is distributed to the artists, streaming platforms pay fees to copyright holders and other intermediaries such as publishers, distributors, and record labels. Spotify launched a website in March that aims to deconstruct some of the data on how it distributes payments, including a tiered breakdown of recording and publishing revenues created by artists' catalogs. According to Music Business Worldwide, only about 13,400 catalogs produced $50,000 in 2020, which is the equivalent of a livable wage in the United States.

Spotify's payouts have been criticized by artists all over the industry. Spotify's royalty fees should be increased to one penny per stream, according to the Union of Musicians and Allied Workers, which represents over 27,000 people in the music industry. In addition, the community is requesting that the platform follow a user-centric model. This means that streaming platforms will pay artists based on the total amount of time a fan spends listening to their music, as SoundCloud did in March.