If you’re still not exactly sure what all that woe-is-me attitude at the root of Jay Z and co.’s grandstanding at Tidal’s relaunch earlier this year was all about, look no further than the infographic down below.
As shown by Information is Beautiful’s updated-for-2015 visualization of the subject, signed artists make .0019 cents per stream on Pandora and .0011 cents per Spotify stream. The worst payout of all for musicians, however, comes from Youtube, which pays out about .0003 per play. An artist signed to a record label would thus have to have their Youtube video played 4,200,000 times in order to earn the monthly U.S. minimum wage of $1,260.
So how much more does Tidal pay per stream, then? The service doles out .007 cents per — while it doesn’t sound like much of a difference to its competitors, a signed artist would only need to be streamed 180,000 times on the service to make the monthly minimum wage.
Musicians who stay independent have the potential to earn the most money, according to all the average rates. Unsigned artists average about $5.99 for every $9.99 album downloaded from iTunes through a distributor, while signed artists average $2.30 per $9.99 album downloaded through iTunes. Minus a label’s take on profits, artists also make more per play on every streaming service.
With the actual dollar and cent amounts taken into account, it’s at least understandable — if not necessarily sympathizable — why so many major artists want to see Tidal succeed.
See the infographic below for all the musician moneymaking deets.