Many music lovers spend a lot of time on music streaming apps like Spotify, Pandora, Apple Music, Youtube, etc. And, though they might subscribe to the service, the musicians and bands they're listening to are making diddly squat off from the digital streaming giants. After reading this, you may feel like you're actually stealing from the bands, at least that's how I felt.

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This the point in the calendar year where Spotify tells you you're most-listened-to artists and bands. They also give you the option to share this on social media. It may seem innocent and fun to share with your friends but really it just to gain new subscribers to their services. I will admit, I've subscribed to Pandora and Spotify. My subscription with Pandora didn't last long. Spotify, though, I used quite often for playlists for cocktail and dinner music at weddings but that quickly ended after one conversation. I have a close friend who in country music and we were it was when I congratulated him on all the plays he got through Spotify that shed light on what is really happening or lack of. You see, bands and musicians make barely any money from these services. I'll venture to say most are LOSING money. Need an example? I've got one for ya. This involves one of my legitimately favorite singers, Miles Nielsen. (Note: the conversation I mentioned previously was not Miles.)

If your curiosity peaked after reading one of Miles' recent Instagram posts you're not alone. Here's what I discover about Spotify via Rolling Stone.

According to one Spotify company filing, average per-stream payouts from the company are between $0.006 and $0.0084; numbers from Apple Music, YouTube Music, Deezer and other streaming services are comparable.

Let's say Miles Nielsen and The Rusted Hearts are making $0.0084 per play on Spotify. (Mind you, only names like Taylor Swift, Drake, Carrie Underwood, and other "major" acts are making that amount.) You could buy Miles Nielsen and The Rusted Hearts' latest album for $9.99 or just play whatever track you want on Spotify, right? You could but you shouldn't. Even if Miles' band is getting $0.0084 per play, they would need 1,189 plays to equate the $10 fans would spend on an actual album. For the band to make $1,000,000 they would need 119,047,619 plays. If they were on the bottom of the pay scale, the band would need 166,667 plays to make $1,000. This is why we need to treat music like shopping; shop local. Buy directly from your favorite band/singer.

Does anyone else realize it probably costs more for Spotify to send an actual check than bands and songwriters are getting paid?


JB Love is ½ of  Q98.5's Lil Zim & JB In The Morning, weekday mornings from 5:00 a.m. to 10 a.m. Follow him on TwitterInstagram, and Facebook.

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