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How Much Does Amazon Music Pay Per Stream?

How Much Does Amazon Music Pay Per Stream?

In this digital age, having a strong online presence and being active on social media and streaming platforms is crucial if you want to build a successful career as an artist. The good news is that there are plenty of platforms to experiment with and try to find your audience and build a fanbase, like Spotify, Apple Music, Pandora, Tidal, Amazon Music, or even TikTok. The bad news is that the competition on these platforms is more intense than ever, and everyone is fighting over the same audience. Add to that the fact that people online have very short attention spans, and you’ve got a big challenge coming your way. 

In the landscape of digital music streaming platforms, the main players are without a doubt Spotify and Apple Music. But other platforms, such as Tidal, YouTube, or Pandora, might be worthy alternatives to try out; it all comes down to your target audience and your ultimate goal. Are you looking to build a fanbase? Are you interested in maximizing your per-stream revenue? Or do you want to offer listeners the best possible listening experience? Today, we’re covering Amazon Music, how much it pays musicians, and what are some of the things that make it stand out from other similar platforms. 

What is Amazon Music? 

A streaming service launched by e-commerce giant Amazon, Amazon Music was launched in 2007 and has gradually built up to an audience of 55 million subscribers as of 2020. It offers a vast library of songs, albums, singles, and playlists accessible via different subscription tiers. Amazon Music Unlimited, like the name suggests, offers unlimited access to millions of songs, ad-free, while Amazon Prime Music offers a more limited selection and it comes included in your Prime subscription. In 2019, Amazon Music HD was launched, a lossless-quality subscription tier featuring more than 50 million songs in high definition and millions more in ultra high definition. This places Amazon Music right next to Tidal in terms of listening quality, making it a fit choice for audiophiles. 

Fun fact: Amazon Music was the first online music store to sell music without digital rights management (DRM) from the four top labels, namely EMI, Warner, Sony BMG, and Universal. The tracks were sold in a 256 kb-per-second MP3 format without any DRM or watermarking. 

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How does Amazon pay musicians?

The way that Amazon Music works is similar to other digital music streaming platforms. Artists on Amazon Music get paid through streaming royalties, based on the number of streams their music generates. The platform also has direct licensing agreements with different artists and labels, where they establish specific payout terms. This, of course, is the case for established artists; there’s not much room for negotiating royalty payouts for emerging artists. 

Amazon Music reportedly pays artists $00.00402 per stream, which means that an artist would need to reach around 370,000 streams to make a living only from Amazon Music streams in the U.S. 

Artists on the platform can also earn money through performance royalties, which are paid to Performance Rights Organizations, or PROs, like ASCAP or BMI. These PROs then distribute the royalties to the publishers and songwriters based on the performance of their music on Amazon Music. Basically, just like with any other digital music streaming platform, artists can earn money on Amazon Music through a combination of streaming royalties, PRO royalty payments, or direct deals with the platform. 

Benefits of Amazon for musicians

Artists looking to grow their online presence and build a profile on Amazon Music can do so through Amazon Music for Artists. The service offers musicians and producers access to real-time data and analytics so they can track their streaming numbers, different monetization tools, and various features to keep fans engaged. 

Artists can pitch new releases on the platform by releasing one song from an upcoming album, to build anticipation and test out the waters to see how the fans react. They can also livestream music on Amazon and Twitch, put up merchandise for sale on different marketplaces, including Amazon, and deliver personal, heartfelt messages to their fans via the Spotlight feature. 

Besides Twitch integration, Amazon Music also integrates with Alexa, Amazon’s voice assistant. Listeners can use voice commands to play music from Amazon Music and discover new artists in a natural, organic way. What’s more, musicians can submit their music to be featured on editorial playlists, which is a great way to boost exposure and reach millions of subscribers. 

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Frequently Asked Questions

How does Amazon Music work for artists?

Amazon Music works for artists by providing them with a platform to distribute their music to a global audience through streaming services. Artists can upload their music to Amazon Music through digital distributors or direct deals, allowing listeners to access their songs, albums, and playlists on-demand. Artists earn royalties based on the number of streams their music receives, and they can engage with fans through features such as playlist curation, direct messaging, and data analytics insights provided by Amazon Music. Additionally, promotional opportunities, integration with Alexa, and access to a large audience contribute to artists' ability to grow their fan base and generate revenue through the platform.

How much does Amazon Music pay per stream compared to Spotify? 

Amazon pays artists $0.00402 per stream compared to Spotify, which pays $0.00437 per stream. However, the exact payment per stream from Amazon Music and Spotify varies and can depend on several factors, including the user's subscription tier, the country of streaming, and the individual agreements between the streaming service and rights holders.

Join Xposure Music and gain access to some of the best music industry professionals in the U.S. Top experts from Sony, Columbia, Def Jam, or Universal have already joined our platform, and they’re ready to give invaluable, on-point feedback on your work, which can help you land that dream record deal or publishing deal you’ve been working towards. Sign up now and reap the rewards.

If you’re looking to kickstart your music career but have limited resources, we can help you get funding for your next project while staying in control of your own work and career trajectory. You keep 100% ownership of your masters and get an advance ranging from $1,000 to $3 million to get your career off the ground. Get an estimate now and start turning your dream into reality.

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Gregory Walfish
Co-founder of Xposure Music, Gregory Walfish stands at the intersection of music, tech, and culture. With a software engineering background, he's passionate about artist development and technology.

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