Music Streaming Now Generates Trillions Of Plays — But Are Royalties Keeping Up? | Billboard

A lot of advertising gets slathered on A Trillion Streams, and served to the most highly prized consumer demographic… no wonder Google/YouTube, Spotify and Pandora are so opposed to non-free, subscription based models that could actually compensate musicians and songwriters fairly.

The headline number in the report is 1,032,225,905,640, or 1.03 trillion, the number of song plays on Pandora, Rdio, Spotify, SoundCloud, Vevo, Vimeo and YouTube that the company tracked in the first six months of this year. It’s a startling number, much larger than anything we’ve seen before it.

It’s safe to say not all 1.03 trillion plays were royalty-bearing streams. Some had a royalty in the 0.05 to 0.1 cents per stream range typical of subscription services. Many of the Pandora streams had a U.S. statutory rate for pure-play webcasters of 0.14 cents plus a smaller amount for publishers (some Pandora streams had a higher royalty applied to streams by subscribers). And SoundCloud, a new entrant to licensed, monetized streaming, most certainly had many non-monetized streams.

Yes, it’s safe to say not all 1.03 trillon plays were royalty-bearing streams. No kidding. For most musicians and songwriters a trillion streams still means the same thing, a couple hundred bucks, if they’re lucky…