Generating Streaming Royalties: Which Stores Pay The Most in 2018?

Money Too Tight to Mention?
With online streaming stores such as Spotify, Apple Music, and Tidal replacing the traditional brick and mortar record stores, it is important for artists to know how they work and how to utilize them effectively. A key statistic that all artists should be aware of is how much streaming stores pay artists per monetized play. We ranked the Top 3 and some notable mentions in these areas and the results may surprise you.


Streaming Stores Pay Per Play Averages - Statista

Provided by: Statista


As the chart above implies, Xbox Music seems to take the top spot in pay per play for artists, coming in with an average payout of $0.02730. It is important to note that Microsoft, the creators of Xbox Music, “abruptly announced late last year that it would exit the streaming music market” according to Daniel Sanchez from Digital Music News, and recent articles have stated that this change actually happened on December 31st, 2017. Xbox Music is still important to mention because of how much more they used to offer artists. We can only guess as to the reasons why, but a plausible explanation could be that a lower overall market share (i.e. number of users) caused by the cost to use the platform, results in a higher payout per play for artists. Xbox Music had the lowest market share at 0.1% overall but had one of the highest proportions of paid users.


Streaming Store Data - InformationIsBeautiful.netProvided by:


A more recent chart (one that has taken into account the official end of Xbox Music) has Napster, formerly Rhapsody, in the top spot, paying artists a whopping (read sarcastically) $0.0190 on average per play. Still not bad when comparing to previous number 1, Xbox Music. Napster is the only streaming store that approaches a full 2 cents per play, according to When looking at the chart from Statista again, we see the top payer only has a small amount of the overall music streaming market share (0.3% at roughly 5 million users, all paid users). As stated above, a possible reason for the higher payouts could be due the cost to use the platform. AFRP plans to bring you a Napster stream team soon to capitalize on the highest paying streaming store in 2018. While Napster is a paid platform, the creation of the AFRP Napster Stream Team will allow artists to recoup that cost, and profit from higher paying royalty streams.


Taking the runner-up spot is Tidal, paying out $0.0125 per play to artists on average. Despite the recent legal scandals plaguing the company and its owners, Tidal still provides one of the top paying services for artists. It is important to note the market share of Tidal is higher than that of Napster, 0.5% vs. 0.3%, so getting plays may be easier on Tidal than Napster. What’s surprising about Tidal is that it has one of the lowest paid user bases, yet continues to pay artists at a higher rate than 6 other streaming platforms. AFRP has a Tidal stream team in the works, creating an easy way for artists to generate royalties from the second highest paying platform.


The final podium member, coming in 3rd place, is Apple Music, paying less than 1 cent per play on average ($0.0074). The chart from Statista notes a large jump in market share percentage between the second and third place stores, from 0.5% to 10.5%, with 100% paid users. That large jump in overall market share may be proportional to the drop in the average pay per stream. We can’t know for sure without seeing the data, but the second chart does show Apple Music having almost a 1:1 ratio of pay per play to overall number of paid users. Despite 100% of users being paid users, Apple Music provides a significantly lower pay per stream rate than the top 2 streaming stores, Napster and Tidal. AFRP has already launched the AFRP Apple Music Stream Team to provide artists an easy way to recoup the cost of an Apple Music membership and make profits on their distributed tracks.


“Dis”-Honorable Mentions:


6th place – Spotify


Falling well outside of the top 3 is Spotify, the world’s largest music streaming store with 47.5% of the music streaming market share or 159 million users (55% of which are free users). Spotify pays artists less than half a cent per play ($0.0044) on average. We see again as the number of users and market share increase, the pay per play rate drops. We here at AFRP would like to see better payouts from Spotify. As the most popular music streaming service, they have a huge opportunity to help artists, which should be an important goal that I’d like to see them focus more on.


8th place – Pandora


Pandora’s pay per stream rate is barely worth the mention, but given its large market share (21.6%) and third largest user base (81 million) we had to include it. Paying artist a lousy $0.0013 per play on average, Pandora is truly one of the least worth it streaming stores from a royalty revenue perspective. However, because it has such a large share of the market, plays may be easier to come by. Hopefully the juice is worth the squeeze.


Overall, independent artists today should understand the details of streaming music in the digital age. Though it can be complicated to navigate at times, knowing the basics can help tremendously when making key decisions about your music career.


For more information about music marketing and promotion, check out the rest of The Promo Post blog! AFRP – Are You #REPOSTWORTHY?


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Soundcloud Logo

When a user reposts your song on SoundCloud, your song appears in the music streams of all their followers. Getting reposts is key to exposing your song to new users and growing your fanbase.

We here at ALL FREE know the difficulty of promoting your own, fresh new music. So we figured we would help make it easier for you to find places where you can get promotion for free by offering a list of FREE REPOST pages:


The Age of Independent Music

DJ Scratching

Technology is UNDOUBTEDLY opening the doors for independent artists. From producing to promoting, musicians can make a name for themselves in the industry. Rappers like Lil Uzi Vert, Post Malone, Russ, and Bryson Tiller, all started their careers on SoundCloud and gained significant recognition leading to fame. With effective use of social media and promotional techniques, you too can build a successful music career all on your own.

The industry is evolving to recognize the work of independent artists by including streamed music on the Billboard 100 list, and even changing the requirements of the Grammy Awards to include streamed music. It wasn’t long ago that without the support of a major record label, this type of recognition wasn’t possible. However, today it is more than possible to build an independent career that gains recognition from fans, and the music industry.

Chance the Rapper is a perfect example of building a successful independent career. After becoming the first independent artist to receive a Grammy nomination, and take home not one, but three awards in 2017, he has opened doors for other independent artists to follow in his footsteps.

It’s clear there is an opportunity for independent musicians to utilize the resources available to them in order to boost their reach. AFRP is one of the potential avenues towards making your music heard, but there’s a lot artists can do on their own to promote their sound.

If you’re looking for more on how to build your music career, check out our blog “Tips for promoting your music on social media!” and let us help you get your tracks heard. Submit your tracks for FREE and we will share your music with our followers, helping you grow a notable fan base.

Tips For Promoting Your Music on Social Media!

Social Media Overload

As an aspiring artist, it’s hard to get a ton of people to support what you do, especially the ones who don’t understand the process of getting their music “heard”.

This could be you.

Whether you’re a new artist, or a growing one, there are several ways to make your music grow.

Social media is the best way due to the technological influences that we have today. It is a way to get people engaged in your music. How can you make this happen?

Step 1: Be relevant, but be you!

Try spicing up your social platforms by making it more exciting and creative. Be you! Music is meant to create a deeper meaning behind the person creating it. Let the content speak for itself.

  • Brainstorm design ideas
  • Use hashtags (maybe even create a personal hashtag)
  • Be exciting and unique!

Step 2: Post in moderation

No one wants to be flooded by posts about music, and it’s more beneficial to the promotion of your personal branding if you post frequently but without overdoing it. So how will you do this?

  • Plan out your social posts! Create a calendar or page of times and days you want to post, with a designated amount of content you want to put out.

For example:

  • Facebook: 4 times a week
  • Twitter: 3 times a day
  • Instagram: 2-3 times a week (Monday, Thursday, Saturday)

Step 3: Create a Personal Blog

What better way to increase your personal branding then designating an area that’s all about you!

  • Create an “About Me” section and introduce yourself in a fun, engaging way.
  • Have a section for your music that people can check out
  • Lastly, link your blog to other social media platforms which will draw people in!

Have fun and be CREATIVE! This is a way to show who you are and make connections with people who share not only a love for music, but the same interests as well.

Interested in networking with us? – Using to link SoundCloud channels

AFRP logo

One of the quickest and most staggering ways to increase the reach of a repost channel is through good old-fashioned communication. Interacting with other established networks can lead to mutual benefit. We’ll show you how we use to grow a mutual network.

When we began this project back in May, we had no idea what we were doing. We just thought that it would be cool to create a truly free repost and promotion network. A network that offered more than usual for free. Because life, more specifically, life as a musician can be rough right? Let’s make this part easy.

After a couple months of steady growth, we were approached by several established SoundCloud repost channels, asking if we would be interested in partnering. At the time, we had never heard of partnering or how to use to do it.

Naturally, we were skeptical. “What does that entail? Are there minimum requirements? How does it help you?, etc.” All good questions when engaging with others on today’s internet. After asking a few questions, we gained a cloudy, but discernible picture of what a “partnership” meant.

To partner with a network, it means you link your SoundCloud channel to theirs via, and vice versa. The understanding seems to be unfettered access within reason to each other’s channel. To ensure this standard is met, the link can be terminated by any party at anytime.

Let’s weigh the pros and cons of this “partnership”.

-If agreed upon by a larger, more established channel, your network becomes exponentially larger
-Increased visibility for your brand to a new audience
-Constant flow of content

-You relinquish some control over the content on your channel

While giving up some, but not all, control over our channel was hard, at this point in our journey, our experience with the likes of JRizzz Musik World and FEEN THE MUSIC have been nothing but pleasant. We intend to continue to find and partner with similar networks in order to give our users access to the most we can for free.

If you run a SoundCloud repost channel and want to partner with us, email us:


By engaging in a partnership with us, we can guarantee fair and reasonable use of the partnership at all times. Our only criteria for promoting a track here at AFRP is production quality, so you can rest assured no whack tracks will be blowing up your channel.

Losing SoundCloud Groups doesn’t mean losing listeners

add your track instantly playlists

After SoundCloud decided to get rid of the “Groups” feature on their platform, many independent artists are searching for new ways to get their music heard by a large audience. Although SoundCloud Groups have disappeared, there are still a few viable ways to promote your music for free on the SoundCloud platform.

Private messaging is one remaining way to connect with other artists, promoters, or labels while still increasing the chances of getting your music heard. Simply attach your latest musical creation to your messages on the platform and ask the fans you are socializing with to take a listen, like, and/or repost if they enjoy it. These music-filled messages deliver new music directly to your followers, increasing the odds that they are going to listen to it. When you couple that with a little politeness, you have already done much more for yourself than simply posting your music. In our experience, this simple method works surprisingly well and increases traffic towards your other tracks through genuine interest.

In the absence of SoundCloud Groups, repost/promotion networks, like us, and playlist curators have become a very popular avenue for independent artists to spread their music.

We here at AFRP have chosen the free model for our promotion network, requiring nothing more than a follow/like for promotion consideration. Not to brag, but we feel this is best model and promotes the most unbiased collaboration between the artists and the promoter as possible.

We are pleased to say that there are a good number of repost/promotion networks that follow this practice, however, you will run across some networks that require much more for promotion consideration. The biggest networks have recognized the easy money to be made by requiring payment to join their talent pool, thus giving your track a chance for promotion. What they don’t tell you is that once an artist gets big enough, they will approach you, and will offer a discounted rate for guaranteed promotion. Don’t waste your money on promotion early in your career when so many free options exist.

Another free method for promotion available to SoundCloud users are the virtually unknown “add your track instantly” playlists. We have dubbed these playlists the “add your track instantly” playlists because the easiest way to find them is to search “add your track instantly” in the SoundCloud search engine (NOTE: you have to search that EXACTLY). There aren’t many of these playlists, but we have found that they are a great source of new listeners, followers, and true fans. Each playlist is labeled by genre and use automation to add your track to the desired playlist(s). To get your track on the playlist(s), follow the 3 steps we’ve outlined below:

  1. Follow the channel that the playlist(s) are on
  2. Find the track(s) above the playlist(s) you would like to post your track(s) to and comment the SoundCloud URL(s) of the track(s) you would like posted on that/those track(s)
  3. Repost the playlist(s) you’ve selected to your channel

After you have completed the above steps, the system will add your track(s) to the selected playlist(s). This usually takes a few minutes. Once your track(s) has/have been added, you will notice a spike in traffic over the next couple days, enough to grab a decent chunk of new fans. Not bad for a few minutes work!

Overall, since the extinction of SoundCloud Groups, it has become more difficult to promote your own music for free. We feel it was one of the worst moves SoundCloud could have made. When a social platform makes it harder for its users to be social and harder to share content, it is only a matter of time until a replacement platform comes along that makes it easier. Until then, however, you can use the methods outlined above to drive people to your music for free, building your fan base everyday with just a little effort.


Hi! Welcome to ALL FREE REPOST and PROMO! The only truly FREE SoundCloud & Facebook promotion service!

Everyone here at AFRP is an independent musician, so we know the trials and tribulations of marketing your own music. With the big names in music able to spend ridiculous amounts of cash on promotion and marketing, it has become difficult for new, independent artists to get their music heard without trying to match other artists’ promotion budget. That’s why we decided to start AFRP.

We believe that every artists deserves an equal shot at getting their music heard, and that is what you will find on AFRP. Whether you have thousands of followers on SoundCloud and/or Facebook, or just one, we treat you all the same; providing the same services, same customer-friendly interactions, and same results.

So with that, we would like to say welcome again! Artists: try it out, it doesn’t cost a dime! Listeners: come back each day for a healthy dose of “Best Quality – Always Fresh” music to add to your queue!

-AFRP, TheFounder