1. #1
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    Default How many subscription streams equals an album purchase?

    There have been a couple of bands I know release albums recently, for which I've jumped onto my Apple Music service and listened to. I do the monthly subscription so I didn't actually buy their album.

    Now, I will actually buy a physical copy at each of their shows because it's an easy way for me to kick a few bucks their way. (I'm also a sucker for buying shirts at shows. The worse they look the better)
    But this got me to thinking. If I don't buy the album on iTunes and just continue to stream it, how many time will I have to play through one or more of those songs before they get paid the same amount as if I'd bought the album? I don't know the streaming math, but I'm betting it may be hundreds or even thousands of times.

    Perhaps this isn't a revolutionary thought to many of you. You may have been trying to convey this in previous streaming discussions, but it hit me like a ton of bricks this morning.

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: How many subscription streams equals an album purchase?

    Also interested in this, but I don't have a clue.

    A band I just finished 4 songs for is going this route just to 'get it out there'. I'm guessing there's probably little, if any, money to be made this way. If so, great, but probably just another form of free advertising.
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    Default Re: How many subscription streams equals an album purchase?

    Does this help?

    https://www.fastcodesign.com/3048607...sts-visualized

    http://blog.sonicbids.com/how-much-d...pay-per-stream

    There's lost of articles around this subject. How accurate are they? I don't know, but I guess an average can be figured out.
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    Default Re: How many subscription streams equals an album purchase?

    According to Billboard, 1,500 streams equals an album sale.

    Which brings up a couple of complaints artists have about streaming:

    1) with a physical sale or download, ther party(ies) who put up the re$ources to get the record made make their money back much faster than having to wait for their fans to listen to their album 150 times each. I shouldn't have to explain the significance of this.

    2) your chances of getting paid, as an indie, from streaming services is between slim and none, for reasons I don't have time to go into right now.
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    Default Re: How many subscription streams equals an album purchase?

    Interesting. I'm guessing there are some closed door sessions that determine what portion of the companies overall profits are going to be shared with the artist...in which the artist are probably poorly represented.
    Again, these things have probably been hashed out here before ... but in my defense, I'm an very slow learner.

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  6. #6
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    Default Re: How many subscription streams equals an album purchase?

    Seems like a "music made in north america, but made in China prices". They should pay out per play, no matter how little. Waiting for 1500 or so plays before you make, what, $8, is nuts.

    What's the saying? How do you make a million dollars making music? Start with 2 mil. Is it a supply/demand thing? That's the only thing I can see that's pushed the price down like this.
  7. #7
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    Default Re: How many subscription streams equals an album purchase?

    Seems like a "music made in north america, but made in China prices". They should pay out per play, no matter how little. Waiting for 1500 or so plays before you make, what, $8, is nuts.
    When streaming services do pay, they pay out per play, on a schedule, like quarterly.

    That isn't the problem. The problem is that if someone buys your download album for $8, you immediately have your $8.

    If the same person streams your album it may take years for that person to play your album all the way through 150 times to get your 1500 plays and your $8.

    That has a potentially huge effect on your ability to pay your bills and fund the next record.

    I suppose kickstarter or gofundme might be options for putting out a record in some cases.
    Man! You have GOT to try a hit of this RANGE SUNSHINE!

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  8. #8
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    Default Re: How many subscription streams equals an album purchase?

    That's what I mean. Pay per play is what it should be, not 'rack up umpteen hundred and well throw you a quarter'.

    Nobody hears a song and goes " I'm gonna buy that album". Instead, just plays a couple for free infinitely and the artist gets pennies on the dollar for what went into their work. Seems like unless you decide to go into $50k of dept, you're living off easy Mac and romin noodles.

    If I hear a song I like, I buy the album. More often than not, there's been at least 4 other songs I end up playing regularly.
  9. #9
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    Default Re: How many subscription streams equals an album purchase?

    That's what I mean. Pay per play is what it should be, not 'rack up umpteen hundred and well throw you a quarter'.
    Maybe it's the language barrier. My Canadian is a bit rusty.

    Do you speak NewYawkese?

    It doesn't make a FUCKING BIT OF DIFFERENCE whether you get paid every day or every quarter, meaning every 3 months.

    Do you really prefer to get a check for a penny every day to getting a check for $0.90 every quarter?

    Seems like unless you decide to go into $50k of dept, you're living off easy Mac and romin noodles.
    And if you go into $50k of debt, you can't afford the noodles.
    Man! You have GOT to try a hit of this RANGE SUNSHINE!

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    Default Re: How many subscription streams equals an album purchase?

    How many streams equal an album sale?

    An infinite number.

    you don't get paid.
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  11. #11
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    Default Re: How many subscription streams equals an album purchase?

    Lol fucking hell...

    I mean, you have Joe shmoe album on iTunes/whatever for $10 that has 10 songs. All my point was is the math doesn't add up even if you buy a song at a time.

    By that math, you're getting paid $0.0066666 per album? What rocket scientist came up with this figure?
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    Default Re: How many subscription streams equals an album purchase?

    Lol fucking hell...

    I mean, you have Joe shmoe album on iTunes/whatever for $10 that has 10 songs. All my point was is the math doesn't add up even if you buy a song at a time.

    By that math, you're getting paid $0.0066666 per album? What rocket scientist came up with this figure?
    I'm guessing that you've never been involved in an aerospace program.

    Neither have I, but your math seems backwards.

    It seems likely that Billboard based its number on Spotify's rate per stream to unsigned artists (or a similar rate) which is supposedly $0.007 per stream.

    1500 streams @ $0.007 per stream = $10.50
    Man! You have GOT to try a hit of this RANGE SUNSHINE!

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    Never underestimate the amount of contempt a failed musician has for those of us who are still trying.
    If the party's good enough, you can actually suck to a remarkable degree.

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  13. #13
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    Default Re: How many subscription streams equals an album purchase?

    That part adds up, what doesn't is the 1500 plays figure. Who's deciding that? How many times have you listened to your absolute favorite album, no matter how long you've had it? Guessing it isn't 1500.

    What's usually the case is you listen to it for a while, put it down, grab something new, and pick it up later. I just think its an oddly specific number for something you can't really quantify.
  14. #14
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    Default Re: How many subscription streams equals an album purchase?

    That part adds up, what doesn't is the 1500 plays figure. Who's deciding that? How many times have you listened to your absolute favorite album, no matter how long you've had it? Guessing it isn't 1500.
    Sorry to keep harping on your math but if there are 10 songs on the album you'd only have to play it 150 times to get 1500 streams.

    But you get my point. Rarely is an album so kickass that you'd listen to it 150 times in a year or two.

    If a fan buys physical media or a digital download, whomever put out the record gets paid in full at the point of sale (or quarterly by a distributor), the way things used to be.

    Now, the streaming services get paid up front by investors and the pennies trickle in for the people who actually make the product.

    I don't mean to be a killjoy, it's just hard to be optimistic sometimes.
    Man! You have GOT to try a hit of this RANGE SUNSHINE!

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    Never underestimate the amount of contempt a failed musician has for those of us who are still trying.
    If the party's good enough, you can actually suck to a remarkable degree.

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  15. #15
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    Default Re: How many subscription streams equals an album purchase?

    Moral of the story: get rich and become an investor

    I get what you're saying, and it must be the investors who concluded that people listen to the same thing so often, its just crazy. Not sure what the average mid-level album costs to make (maybe $10k, if I'm being modest). Gonna be in a retirement home before you make that back unless you're extremely lucky. Ah well....
  16. #16
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    Default Re: How many subscription streams equals an album purchase?

    Investors conclude jackshit. Isn't that why they have CEO's? I believe investors just tell them "Make me money or be fired. I don't care how" (that's for the ones that can actually talk to companies. Seeing how most investing portfolios work, as in your RRSP, for example, most investors don't even know where their money is).
  17. #17
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    Default Re: How many subscription streams equals an album purchase?

    True enough, which explains basically what their figure is. Where does this 1500 plays figure come from??

    Honestly, if I listened to an album front to back 150 times, I'd be as sick of it as most singles I'm hearing on the radio.
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  18. #18
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    Default Re: How many subscription streams equals an album purchase?

    Yeah. Streaming has fucked music royally. But hey, you get "exposure"!
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  19. #19
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    Default Re: How many subscription streams equals an album purchase?

    Apple Music allows me to make songs available offline. For instance, if I go up in the mountains I get spotty service, so I usually have an offline playlist ready. Does anyone know if that affects the number of "streams" the artist gets? I'm guessing iTunes tracks what I play offline and updates that at some later time, right?

    I'm having the craziest moral dilemma over this streaming thing. I'm just your average schmuck trying to consume good music (even bad music sometimes). I want to do right by all involved and I want to do it in a way that's convenient, cost effective, feature rich. But it doesn't seem like those things intersect ... so what's a guy to do!?!?
    If you make me pay more it discourages me from participating. If you take away the convenience of having so much music at my fingertips, I lose interest and quit participating.

    Between all the services I subscribe my wife and I to, I basically spend 3 to 4 albums worth of money a month. Say 30 to 40 bucks. That doesn't include the 6 to 8 albums I buy at local shows any given year. I feel like that's a decent amount. Like I'm contributing my share. But I still feel like I'm guilty by association somehow. Sucks.

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  20. #20
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    Default Re: How many subscription streams equals an album purchase?

    You're right. Unfortunately, you ARE guilty by association. We all are.

    The worse part is... there is no other way of going things right now. Not at least when it comes to streaming subscriptions. It doesn't matter what you try to do. Short of asking your entire neighborhood to leave their computers streaming the same album overnight for a whole month, you won't be substantially helping your favorite artists. Unless you use the old model, that is.

    Buy the albums instead of streaming.
    I know... that'd mean a bigger expense. People have gotten used to listening to thousands of songs per month for 10 bucks. To coffee refills for free. To 2x1 item sales. To buy today and pay in 6 months. We're nothing but rotten spoiled consumers that have no clue whatsoever as to how our stuff is made, how much it costs to make it, and who's paying for it to cost us that much (because we clearly aren't). But we love it like that! We all say we'd like things to be better, but in the end, we vote with our wallet.

    So, what can we do?

    Personally, I don't have any streaming subscriptions. I buy my albums through Bandcamp preferably, or somewhere else, I load it into my phone, and I listen to the stuff I have and that's it.
    I also buy the movies I like. I do have a Netflix subscription. I really wonder how well that does for film producing companies, since I haven't seen any real numbers, but given that they still can work trough "box office income", the rest is icing on the cake, I'd believe. And based on how many series Netflix is producing, I don't think they're doing bad either.

    Anyway, I really don't know what else I can say. As a consumer, we've screwed our favorite artists without even trying. We just got handed this business model and that's it. Some artists have tried to use crowd funding for some things, with varying degrees of success. But that means you have to go out there and find ways to help, and most people are way to lazy for that.

    The only thing I've seen that could work is Patreon. It seems to be picking some steam, so we'll see... I still think humans have grown to be too spoiled to be fit for this planet. Climate change, do us the favor already please.

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