Understanding How Streaming Services Pay

Once you’ve released your music the focus usually shifts to how to ensure you are generating earnings. You’ve told everyone where they can find your release(s), and you’ve been playing it non-stop.

There are several factors that determine how much, if anything, is paid per stream. These include:


  • The music service that the release is being played from
  • The type of plan the listener has (free, subscription, etc)
  • How long the track is listened to
  • The country and/or currency where the play is being generated


Many services require that a song be played anywhere from 20 to 30 seconds for it to be counted as a stream, like Spotify and Apple Music. While there are certain services, like Facebook, consider a track to be a play or consumed after just 3 seconds.

There are some music services that when playing your release from your account then it won’t count towards your stream count.

Since this can all be so complicated, let’s simplify as much as possible using one question:

How many streams/plays/consumptions will it take for me to earn $1? This has several underlying factors such as:


  • What rate the outlet is using to pay performance royalties. Since a stream generates both a performance and mechanical royalty.
  • The country, and the currency the stream occurred in – rates fluctuate over time
  • The type of plan the listener has, ad-supported streams vs. Subscription supported streams


Here’s a breakdown based of the most popular streaming services:


Streams to earn $1


50 – 150


50 – 150


50 – 150

Apple Music

150 – 250


200 – 300

Amazon Music

250 – 350


250 – 350


300 – 500


400 – 500


500 – 600


650 – 750


750 – 850


2,400 – 2,500


7,400 – 7,500


48,000 – 63,000

There are several factors that go into the revenue you receive from your music being streamed. This means that these numbers could vary for you from outlet to outlet—but we hope this provides an understanding of what to expect in general from certain services.

Distribute music with AvidPlay

Distribute your music on Spotify, Apple Music, Anghami, and dozens of other major streaming services around the world. Plus, keep 100% of your rights and earnings.

Taking Control of Your Artist Profile

Whether you just distributed your first release with AvidPlay or one of many, you’re probably wondering how to gain control of your artist profile across all of the streaming outlets your music is now live on.

Well sometimes when you check out that release you may find the artist profile it’s linked to is wrong, there was never a profile created, there’s no picture, etc.

This is something that you want to rectify as soon as you can, because it’s possible this may be the first introduction a potential fan will have to you. You should consider your artist profile as the visual identity for your brand. Below we’ve provided some details on how to reach stores to fix any issue that may arise in relation to your artist profile.

Amazon – Reach out via the Amazon Music for Artists app Help option under Settings. Be sure to provide the following information:

  1. Your Artist Name
  2. Your artist detail page link (either from within Amazon Music or the Amazon website)
  3. A list of albums which should be on your profile and/or the list of albums which should NOT be on your profile



Tidal – Send an email to artistsupport@tidal.com, if you’re updating your profile provide two photos, links to your social media, a short biography, and the URL to your artist profile on Tidal (e.g., tidal.com/artist/5124128).


Deezer – Get in touch with Deezer’s team at support@deezer.zendesk.com

  1. Include your artist image if you want to change it: That must be 500×500 pixels minimum and 3MB maximum.
  2. Your artist bio explaining a bit about yourself in 100-200 words.
  3. Links to your social media that you want available on your profile.


If you’re updating your profile the preferred image dimensions are 1500×1000 pixel.

iHeart – Your artist biography and profile picture are distributed to iHeartRadio via a third party service called AllMusic. AllMusic is powered by Rovi (now TiVo) which is a catalogue of art, reviews and in-depth information (like biographies and art work) on artists, albums, singles and EPs created and curated by their editing staff. You can mail TiVo one copy of the product along with any relevant promotional materials, such as artist bios and press releases, and email a single message containing artist and release images (in JPEG format and at least 300 pixels wide) and other promotional materials using the addresses below. TiVo adds products and other materials to their databases at their discretion. Email: content.music@tivo.com


Shazam – Sign up with Shazam for Artists and you will be able to update your profile with images, links to YouTube videos, as well as the ability to post status updates with links to new songs and have these displayed to any new fans that “Shazam” your song. Apple devices with Siri use Shazam as well, simply say “hey Siri, what song is this” if you don’t have the Shazam app installed. Sign up at shazam.com/artists

Qobuz – You can change your artist photo by reaching out through the customer service portal https://www.qobuz.com/us-en/help/contact/ask/signin with a link to your artist page. Biographies and album reviews are written in house by the Qobuz team, and sourced from allmusic.com and Last.fm

It’s important that your artist profile is updated consistently as it should always reflect where you are in your artist journey. Since it’s unlikely you’ll stay the same forever, your profile should reflect your evolution.

Distribute music with AvidPlay

Distribute your music on Spotify, Apple Music, Anghami, and dozens of other major streaming services around the world. Plus, keep 100% of your rights and earnings.

How to Switch From Your Current Music Distributor to AvidPlay

Looking to move away from CD Baby, DistroKid, Ditto, or another distributor to AvidPlay? Here’s what you need to do to move your current releases without disruption, while also maintaining all of your streaming statistics.

First, you’ll need to log in to your current distributor account and gather these details:

  • EAN/UPC associated with your released album(s)
  • ISRC associated with track(s)

If you’re unsure about how to go about this, you can reach out to the distributor who’ll be able to offer guidance on how to find these details. Ensure that you have all details associated with the album(s) exactly as they were initially entered; title, genre, artist, etc. This will help to ensure all stats associated with the release will still be available to you once the product is distributed through AvidPlay.

Now that you have all of your information, you can begin to takedown your releases from your current distributor. If your distributor allows you to takedown the releases yourself go ahead and do that, or request that they do it for you.

Once you’ve confirmed the releases have been removed from stores and streaming services you can create your AvidPlay account, if you haven’t already, and go ahead and redistribute your music.

You can purchase an AvidPlay plan here.

If you follow the process outlined you will be able to find the grand total of streams for all track-linked versions on relevant services such as Spotify (through Spotify for Artists).

We look forward to having you as a part of the AvidPlay family.

Distribute music with AvidPlay

Distribute your music on Spotify, Apple Music, Anghami, and dozens of other major streaming services around the world. Plus, keep 100% of your rights and earnings.