Life as an unsigned artist in a digital world can be tough, but before this infographic it was even tougher to decide which music streaming to go with to get the best bang for your buck — er, bucks for your banger!


Information is Beautiful did the math and Digital Music News broke it down for 2017, which happens to be a year major labels have reported record-breaking revenue. Apple Music, Deezer, Google PlayNapster (yeah, it’s still around), Pandora, Spotify, TIDAL and YouTube were the eight music streaming services tracked for the infographic.

Money Making Factors

To make proper calculations, the following info was gathered…

-Artist revenue per play
-Total users (millions) per platform
-Percentage of free users on the platform
-Plays needed to earn minimum monthly wage ($1,472)
-Total annual loss reported by the streaming platform
-Annual loss per user

Best Music Streaming Payout

Highest revenue per play…

1st: Napster / $0.0167 per play
2nd: TIDAL / $0.0110 per play
3rd: Apple Music / $0.0064 per play
4th: Google Play / $0.0059 per play
5th: Deezer / $0.0056 per play
6th: Spotify / $0.0038 per play
7th: Pandora / $0.0011 per play
8th: YouTube / $0.0006 per play

To reach minimum wage:

Napster / 90,000 plays
TIDAL / 130,000 plays
Apple Music / 230,000 plays
Google Play Music / 250,000 plays
Deezer / 260,000 plays
Spotify / 380,000 plays
Pandora / 1.2 million plays
YouTube / 2.4 million plays

Keep in mind plays are subjective to how many monthly users each service has, but it’s also all about building your following within the given platform. Napster is King when it comes to music streaming payout, while it’s nearly impossible to make a living off of YouTube.

Sources: Information is BeautifulDigital Music News