Shootout At the Fantasy Factory Part 2: What Should Streams Mean for Royalty Escalations?

If 100 streams = 1 Song Download, why doesn’t the money match?

MUSIC • TECHNOLOGY • POLICY

As we noted in a prior post, Billboard reported on what might be called the “chart value” of streams compared to downloads.  To the extent that streams are counted in both the Billboard charts and the UK’s Official Charts, streams are valued at 100 streams to one permanent download.  This ratio was touted by Spotify at the recent artist meetings hosted by the Featured Artist Coalition in New York.

When you consider the royalty value of that ratio, however, those 100 streams are rewarded at a much, much lower penny rate than a download, even if you compare 100 streams to the $0.70 price of the lowest iTunes wholesale price of downloads.  As we noted previously, the 100:1 ratio implies a per-stream royalty of $0.007.

What About the Royalty Value?

Experience suggests that this seems high.  Quite high.  So just to confirm what Spotify representatives actually said at the…

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