I recently asked the subscribers on my mailing list what service they use to stream music. I thought this would be valuable data, that would get me one step closer to my ultimate goal: taking over the world. Here's what they said.
YouTube - 26% The majority of the survey participants picked YouTube. I'm sure Google makes plenty of money off of the platform, but i do not. The latest data claims YouTube pays around $0.00069 per stream (if they pay at all). My best guess is that I've made less than $2 from them in my lifetime. It's not even worth the effort to look up the real number. If you ever wondered why I don't make music videos anymore, this should explain it.
Spotify - 23% Next up was Spotify, which happens to be my streaming platform of choice. They only pay around $0.00437 per stream, but I make enough money from them to pay for my own premium subscription. So that's a win, right?
None - 19% This surprised me. With the prevalence of smartphones, high speed internet, and free streaming options, I would have thought that everybody at least dabbles in streaming. I don't get it.
Something Else - 13% I reached out directly to anyone who gave this answer to find out what they were using. A few people mentioned Bandcamp or Noisetrade. But most of the people just didn't write me back. :(
Apple Music - 11% I've tried Apple Music, but I didn't like it as much as Spotify. Plus, other than a limited trial, they don't have a free streaming option. My music is starting to get some traction there, but it's nothing compared to Spotify. They pay $0.00735 per stream.
Pandora - 4% I go back and forth on Pandora. They've got some cool (and free) tools artists can use to promote themselves. But they don't always work. And they've got their fancy music genome project algorithm that does magical things. But it doesn't always work. They pay $0.00133 per stream from their "Premium" listeners (not sure how much from free accounts). I don't make much money there, but I like being potentially discoverable by their algorithms.
Amazon - 4% This is another one that doesn't offer a free streaming option, other than a trial period, so I've never really bothered with it. A penny probably trickles in every once in a while, but that's not going to send my kids to college. They pay $0.00402 per stream.
The Absolute Losers The other options in the survey that nobody picked were Deezer, Google Music, TIDAL, and Napster. Apparently, nobody I know uses any of those. I don't either.
So what have we learned with all of this valuable data? I don't know. That I'm screwed, and will never make any real money off of my music? I kind of knew that already.