Ever since Google Play has announced its shutdown, and started converting all its subscribed users to Youtube Music for its streaming royalties, things have been changing quickly.
In May 2018, YouTube announced that we will be saying our final goodbyes to Google Play and embrace a new version of the YouTube Music service, including a web-based desktop player and redesigned mobile app.
But the question we want to ask is this. How much are they going to pay their artists?
The truth is, I had a decent number for Google Play. But with Youtube Music, it gets a little complicated.
How artists make money from streaming services?
There are two ways independent record holders or indie musicians can make money through streaming services like Google Play.
1. Upload songs or albums that you own the right to and set a certain price a customer can pay for every download. This is common for Google Play Music.
2. The more common way is through ad revenue. It’s similar to Adsense. In order to earn money by uploading your song, people need to hear some ads to make Google worth the free users.
How much can you earn per stream?
Youtube Music’s payout per stream is a proportionate percentage based on ad and subscription revenue. However, because of competition within the streaming industry, Youtube tries to attract more artists to upload their songs. With Google Play, it used to provide one of the highest pay-per-stream rates at an estimated $0.00676 per stream. This meant that you’d need at least 147 people to stream your music in order to make a single dollar. This used to be pretty good, compared to other platforms like:
- Pandora Radio – $0.00133 per stream
- Spotify – $0.00437 per stream
- Amazon Music – $0.00402 per stream
- Youtube videos – $0.00069 per view
Of course, there are several other streaming services like Napster and Tidal that pay far more than Google Play. But the number of subscribers they have is significantly fewer at around 3 million each. According to USAToday, Google Play Music (along with Youtube music, because they are both owned by Alphabet) have 20 million paying subscribers. So it is worth giving a shot.
But with Youtube Music, the numbers differ vastly!
There are 3 separate payouts under Youtube.
- YouTube Music stream ($0.008),
- per video-stream ($0.00069)
- Videos monetized through Content ID ($0.00087)
How to upload your content on Youtube Music?
Royalties through advertising are not the only way to earn money while streaming your music.
Musical artists can also receive up to 70% of their suggested price for every song purchased and Google Play takes a 30% commission on all sales. But in order to be able to upload anything you need to distribute your music with platforms like LANDR or Tunecore.
What is a distribution platform and why I would recommend it?
Firstly, in order to upload or stream your music or podcast on Amazon Music Spotify, Apple Music or any other streaming platform, you need to release it through a digital music distribution service like LANDR distribution. Why this? Because services LANDR or Tunecore can help you get your music on Google Play and keep your royalties.
Secondly, because of royalties. When you want to sell an entire album, Google Play used to multiply the per-song suggested retail price by the number of tracks on your album. On the downside, LANDR charges a default price for every single song downloads to USD$1.29 on the customer.
The conclusion to Youtube Music
While Youtube itself does not pay off as well as Google did, it opens door to a larger audience. Youtube is a big upgrade to the entire streaming industry. It will offer streamer a web-based desktop player and redesigned mobile app. But more importantly, Alphabet wants to test out a more dynamic recommendation base, and use of Google AI to search songs based on lyrics and descriptions.
Thanks to all these developments, we will see how the platform will grow.
How to start Promoting your Podcast or Content Online?
If you enjoy speaking and want to share your thoughts and ideas with your audience about what you do, there are two platforms I would highly recommend.
Buzzsprout is a free podcasting platform and software that lets you upload, host, and promote your podcast. From secure and reliable hosting to full iTunes support, HTML5 players, show stats, and of course, Buzzsprout has everything you need to publish and promote your podcast!
They also offer a $20 Amazon Gift Card if you decide to sign up for their paid plans, which you can receive after the second paid invoice.
Another platform I would recommend trying out is Podbean.
Podbean is another user-friendly podcast hosting service that allows you to upload your podcast episodes. This means that when someone wants to listen to your content, they’ll download or stream the data from Podbean’s servers.
Podbean helps you publish your podcast to other platforms like iTunes and Google Play. This will also provide features to help you get new listeners, monetize your podcast, and build a simple website.
Once you have a website with Bluehost and integrated Buzzsprout, you have a much better chance of boosting your audience and online traffic.