Rick Beato asks Can Musicians survive on Streaming Revenues?

Rick Beato asks in his latest video...

how much do you earn for a Billion plays

He told us the figure was a million bucks (so 1% by my math).

This was spread over multiple platforms including airplay.

He points out that a long line of people want to stick their hands in your pocket

  1. publishers
  2. record companies
  3. co-writers
  4. and so on until the taxman takes his share!

It makes you wonder if musicians can survive with the current business model?


In November, the Mercury prize-nominated singer-songwriter Nadine Shah told the digital, culture, media and sport select committee inquiry into the economics of music that despite her success and popularity she made so little from streaming that without income from live touring she was struggling to pay her rent.

Tony Harlow, the chief executive Warner Music UK, whose artists include Ed Sheeran and Coldplay, estimated 1m streams would make £4,000 to £5,000 in revenue and that a recording artist may see £1,000 of that.

The number of UK artists managing just 1m streams domestically in at least one month last year was about 720, according to the IPO. After various cuts of royalties, that can leave the musician with as little as £1,500 a month, according to Media Research.

The IPO admits that at least 12m streams annually in the UK, plus more in overseas markets, as well as “other sources of income”, are all required to make a “sustainable living out of music”. “Streaming only adds up when you have billions, not millions, of streams,” says Mulligan. icon-money.png

The IPO report found that just under half of musicians in the UK (47%) earn less than £10,000, while 62% earn less than £20,000.

Music streaming in the UK now brings in more than £1bn a year in revenue. But the fact remains that artists can be paid as little as 13% of the income generated - and that is the top 1% who account for 80% of all streams.

Check out the video too...