I Run an Indie Label. And Here’s What Spotify, Rhapsody & Zune Are Paying Us

If Spotify, Rhapsody, or other streaming services won’t answer the question, maybe indie labels and artists will.  These figures are from an independent catalog of 87 albums and 1,280 songs, as posted on The Trichordist.  On Spotify, they seem consistent with reports of per-song payouts of roughly one-third to one-half of a penny.


per source: “Payable to Artist/Label via digital distributor for sales from July to December, 2011.”


(Rhapsody purchased Napster last year, though the Napster name continues in various European territories.)




15,159 plays


Payout = $437.58


$0.028 per song


Ratio = 25:1 iTunes Song Download






30,238 plays


Payout = $479.07


$0.016 per song


Ratio = 43:1 iTunes song download.






50,822 plays


Payout = $668.57


$0.013 per song


Ratio = 53:1 iTunes song download.






798,783 plays.


Payout = $4,277.39


$0.005 per song.


Ratio = 140:1 iTunes Song Download!!!