December 5, 2009

Money Streams From Music Streaming by Gif

At a rate of roughly half a cent per stream, how valuable is online streaming revenue to the career of an unsigned artist? One hundred streams earn an artist a meager $0.50. Ten thousand streams earns an artist only $50 in revenue.

On Myspace my all time music plays are currently listed at 35,859. I decided to do a little math:
  • 35,859 plays X 0.005 (Half a cent) = $179.295
If I were earning half a cent every time someone listened to my music on my Myspace page, I would have earned $179.295 in revenue. The plays I have accrued on my Myspace page pale in comparison to the numbers I have seen other artists pull. I've seen some artists get as many as a thousand plays a day. At that rate those artists could have earned an extra $1,680 a year.

  • 1000 plays a day X 7 days a week X 4 weeks a month X 12 months a year X 0.005(half a cent) = $1,680
Think of it in these terms, if you have, let us say a ten-song album, 1000 visitors come to your site and each visitor listens to every song on your album a day, that’s a revenue stream of $50 a day.

  • 1000 visitors a day X 10 plays per visitor X $0.005(half a cent) = $50 a day
What are the odds of an artist generating that kind of traffic? I’m being really idealistic with these numbers right? Maybe, if you believe you aren’t creating anything compelling enough to draw this kind of interest.

I look at a site like where the more people listen to your music, the more people listen to your music (No, the repeat of the phrase is not a typo). Every time a user listens to a song it gets syndicated through an activity stream to the pages of all that user’s friends, which can lead to one play possibly resulting in multiple plays. Through’s activity stream alone, depending on the amount of friends and reputation of the listener, one play can balloon into 10 or more.

Will artist be able to quit their day jobs and live off of the revenue generated from online streaming? Perhaps not. Does it beat the blank artists currently earn from people listening to their music on sites like Myspace and personal music players on their artist web site? You bet!

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