Apple Music has sent letters to artists and labels saying that it now pays double the average Spotify does per stream.
According to figures from last year, in the US Spotify paid an average of $0.00437 per stream while Apple Music paid an average of$ 0.00735.
In the letter, which was sent to labels and publishers and posted on the platform’s artist dashboard, Apple Music said it now pays an average of one cent per stream. However, it added that the rates vary according to the subscription plan and the country where the listener is streaming.
“As the discussion about streaming royalties continues, we believe it is important to share our values,” the streaming service said in the letter. “We believe in paying every creator the same rate, that a play has a value, and that creators should never have to pay [for their music to be promoted by Apple].”
The note adds that 52 percent of subscription revenue is paid to record labels. Apple Music last confirmed its subscription base reached 60 million users in June 2019, but industry figures estimate that number has now increased to around 72 million.
Spotify, on the other hand, has 155 million paid subscribers and a total of 345 million users. Last month the platform launched a new website called Loud & Clear, which is designed to increase transparency about how it pays artists.
However, artists and members of the music industry criticized the website, saying it did not provide the answers they asked for from Spotify.
“Musicians demanded one penny per stream from @Spotify and in return, they made some convoluted website called “loud and clear” to try to gaslight musicians into thinking it’s somehow their fault,” Zola Jesus tweeted at the time.
Last year, musicians told MPs that streaming payments “threatening the future of music” at the first evidence session to question the economics of streaming music.
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Speaking ahead of the inquiry, Department of Culture, Media And Sport Committee Chair Julian Knight MP said: “While streaming is a growing and important part of the music industry contributing billions to global wealth, its success cannot come at the expense of talented and lesser-known artists.
“We’re asking whether the business models used by major streaming platforms are fair to the writers and performers who provide the material. Longer-term we’re looking at whether the economics of streaming could in future limit the range of artists and music that we’re all able to enjoy today.”