Deezer is a music streaming platform with a low market share and a high payout per stream. In this article, we're going to explain why average payouts are a misguided calculation and how you can make the most out of your streaming revenue as an independent artist.
How Much Does Deezer Pay Per Stream? (TL;DR)
Deezer's average payout for a stream is $0.0064 per stream. This is the 5th highest paying streaming service when compared on an average payout per stream basis. However, this number is misinforming many artists because there is a lot more that goes into calculating how artists are paid by streaming services.
With an average payout ranked 4th, it leaves the question – how can Deezer pay more than Spotify with a lower market share and lower subscriber base?
With a 2.6% market share and a low subscriber count of 7 million paid subscribers, it would be impossible for Deezer to pay artists more than a giant like Spotify who owns 48.3% of the market share.
I'm Not Getting $0.064/stream From Deezer? Why?
Deezer doesn't pay artists on a per stream payout calculation. This figure is an average and is why it is misleading.
It's ok to use the average to work out rough numbers and to set goals for your music career using these numbers, but they are averages and should be taken with a grain of salt.
Deezer pays artists in the same way that every other streaming platform does. It takes the revenue made, and divides it up between rights holders of the music (after taking its cut), based on the deals it has already arranged with them.
So, for instance, if Deezer has agreed with Warner Music that it will pay Warner 60% of the profits after taking its cut, there is only 40% left for the rest of the labels signed up to Deezer. This is not the deal Deezer has with Warner, but is an example for you to understand how these types of payments work.
Music streaming Services pay artists using this process:
- Calculates the money it earns through subscriptions of advertising revenue.
- Takes its cut from this value (for Spotfy & Apple Music this is a 52% headline rate)
- Then pays the rightsholders (label, distributor etc.) the percentage share of the streams they have gathered
This way of payment makes it impossible to get the average payout calculation correct, because revenues will constantly change month to month.
If you are a business owner, you will understand the nature of business and know that each month comes with new challenges and bounces in earnings.
Furthermore, this average payout calculation doesn't take into account the separate deals that Deezer might have with different labels (mentioned above).
Each label or distributor brings in a different amount of streams and access to a roster of different artists. Because of this different distributors and labels have different levels of bargaining power. And, therefore can negotiate a bigger slice of the streaming pie.
Why Deezers's Higher Streaming Rate Doesn't = More Money For You As An Artist
On Deezer, it is unlikely you will earn more money than say on Spotify or Apple Music. This is because they have a lower market share, lower subscriber base and therefore a smaller amount of revenue to distribute to artists.
Despite the high streaming payout number, it's a misleading number and in reality, you will not be paid that rate per stream.
As stated above, it depends on the deal your distributor has with said service.
Furthermore, due to the low subscriber base, the average payout per stream on Deezer appears to be higher, because there are fewer streams to bring that number down and water down the average payout.
To earn a minimum wage on Deezer, on paper, you'd need a total of 2.4M streams per year to earn it. However, this number is 34.28% of the platform streaming your music at least once. And, as you can tell, for most small artists, this is pretty impossible.
If you remember the different percentage deals we mentioned earlier you can also see why this average number is misleading.
If Universal Music takes 30% of the profits after Deezer takes its cut, this leaves 70% of the profits up for grabs from other rights holders. This means that every rights holder will get a different slice of the pie.
This is why it's important to choose the right distribution service, because each streaming platform will have a different deal with DSPs. Often, they negotiate deals based on country of streams too.
Meaning that Distrokid might not pay the most in somewhere like India, or Brazil, but pays the most in the US and UK because their user-base is predominantly western and they can garner a better deal based in that territory.
An additional bit of information to reference is the deal you personally have signed with your label or distributor, as this will determine the cut they take and the cut you take, further diluting your earnings.
Why Average Payouts Per Stream Are Misleading
Average payouts are misleading, because the platform with the lowest user base and market share can look like it pays the most. This is because with a lower number of subscribers there are less streams to dilute the average payout per stream of said service.
As an artist, you will earn the most of your streaming money from Spotify or Apple Music. This is fact, because of the sheer number of users, you have more opportunity to gather the amount of streams needed for a decent wage.
There are simply less people to stream your music on other streaming platforms, and less opportunity to be put in front of a large audience.
This makes it a lot harder to earn a wage from these services, as proportionally, you have to get a larger percentage of the platform to your music somehow, requiring more marketing etc.
Want To Earn A Living From Streaming? Here's What You'd Need To Get on Deezer
To earn a minimum wage on Deezer (based on the US minimum wage of $15,080 per year), you would need 2.4M streams per year on your music. That is over 30% of the platform streaming your music at least once.
In practice this will be a very hard number for a smaller, independent artist to earn on their music. And, in general, these kinds of streaming numbers are reserved for famous musicians.
The calculation listed above does not take into account the varying deals that Deezer will have with each label, distributor etc.
Taking this into account will cause the number to rise even more.
Which Digital Music Streaming Service Pays The Most?
Napster technically pays the most per stream, with a payout of $0.0168 per stream. But, this number is misleading because they have the lowest subscriber count and market share of all the digital music streaming services. Therefore the average can appear higher than it is, due to a lack of data.
It's highly likely you will earn the largest chunk of your money from Apple Music or Spotify. These streaming platforms pay artists less, but give them access to a higher number of users to generate more fans, and more revenue.
Here is the complete list of the rates that each streaming platform pay artists:
|Streaming Service||Payout Per Stream in 2022 ($)|
|Amazon Digital Services||0.00402|
|Others (Yandex, Peloton, iHeartRadio etc)||0.012663|
Which Service Has The Most Paid Subscribers?
Spotify has the most paying subscribers, with 180 million paid subscriptions to the platform and a market share of 48.3%. Apple Music comes in 2nd with 88 million paying subscribers. And, Amazon Music 3rd with 55 million paying subscribers.
Spotify has 48.3% market share, and Apple Music has 24.97% market share. The two together own 70%+ of the revenue from streaming in the music industry.
When you get to Amazon Music, the market share drops drastically with only 4.08% owned by Amazon Music.
Here is the complete list of the number of paying subscribers and market share for all music streaming platforms:
|Streaming Service||Total Paid Subscriptions||Market Share (%)|
|Apple Music||98 million||24.97|
|Amazon Unlimited Music||55 million||4.04|
|YouTube Music||50 million||6.99|
How Many Streams Do I Need For Minimum Wage on Each Platform?
To earn minimum wage streaming payouts using Spotify, you would need 4.1M streams per year. On Apple Music, this is reduced to 1.5M stream per year. On Napster you would only need 896.6K streams per year.
896.6K streams is almost 1/5th of Napster's user-base streaming your music at least once, so you are far more likely to get the numbers needed for minimum wage on Spotify or Apple Music because there are more people, and better promotional opportunities.
Here is the amount of streams you need from each streaming platform to earn a minimum wage in the music industry:
|Streaming Service||Amount of Streams Per Year|
|Amazon Music Unlimited||1.3M|
With over 8 years of hands-on experience in the music industry, Harry has run successful raves, played alongside industry heavyweights such as Max Chapman, DJ EZ, DJ Zinc and more (pictured below), had music played on national radio, DJ'd on live radio, produced until he hated every song, mixed until his ears bled, created sample packs from scratch using just a Zoom H1n and some sound design skills… and pretty much anything related to music production – he's done it, tested it, tried it.