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Entertainment of Wednesday, 11 May 2022


This is how much your favorite artists earn anytime you stream their music

Davido, Wizkid and Burna Boys are the biggest names in music in the continent Davido, Wizkid and Burna Boys are the biggest names in music in the continent

MyNigeria Feature

Artists around the world are entitled to royalties after their songs are streamed on platforms like Apple Music, Spotify, YouTube, Deezer, Tidal and Amazon.

While there are regular changes to earnings per stream for artists across the globe, there are key factors that determine what an artist will earn from having his/her song streamed on a music stream site.

They include the listener's country and location, whether the listener has a paid subscription or free account, the specific artist’s royalty rate, and the relative pricing & currency in different regions.

Music streaming is the delivery of songs to your mobile phone, personal computer or tablet without any requirement to download and save on your device’s memory before the music can be listened to.


According to a research company MIDiA, Spotify remains the largest streaming platform in the world. The 2022 report says that 523.9 million paying subscribers on music streaming services globally in the second quarter of 2021, an increase of 26.4% from the same period in 2020. Spotify is still the market leader by some distance, it says, despite rival services eating into its market share.

The dominance of the streaming platform has extended to Nigeria since it was launched in 2021. According to Spotify’s Head of Music for Sub-Saharan Africa, Phiona Okumu, Nigeria is the second country with the most musical streams after Pakistan.

She said that artists including WizKid, Burna Boy, Tems and Mr Eazi ranked amongst the top five exported local artistes from Nigeria on Spotify while revealing that the average number of artists streamed per user locally has grown by 60 per cent.

She further noted that 20,935 songs were added to the Spotify platform by creators, since market entry.

This should come as welcome news to the streaming giant, however, further checks indicate that Spotify pays artists $0.004 an equivalent of N1.44 per stream as royalties.

Apple Music

Another big music streaming platform Apple Music, developed by Apple Inc holds 19% of the music streaming market share and stands as the second-largest music streaming service in the world.

Apple Music allow users to select music to stream to their device on-demand, or they can listen to existing, curated playlists.

Apple Music pays artists $0.00735 per stream which equates to $7350 for a million streams. Converting that figure to naira at the N500 exchange rate, artists get N3.7 per stream and N3,675,000 for a million streams.

Apple music allows for music download unlike other music streaming platforms. This means downloaded music can be listened to without connecting to the internet, however, they become inaccessible upon subscription expiration.

Apple Music measures one song download as equal to one hundred and fifty streams, according to Business Day. This means for every song downloaded on Apple Music, artists and their labels get paid approximately N400. A thousand downloads of one song are therefore approximately N400,000.


Boomplay, a media streaming and download service developed by Transnet Music Limited launched in Nigeria in 2015 via TECNO’s first music phone Boom J7. Two years after its launch it was given the award for the best African app at the 2015 AppsAfrica Awards.

The Boompay pays artists approximately N50 to N80 per stream according to sources.


The world’s most popular streaming platform, YouTube Music pays artists $0.002 per stream. While YouTube Music doesn’t really pay artists much, the platform’s popularity combined with the on-video ads makes the overall income marginally higher and 2.91 for a 1000 streams.

To get paid by YouTube, you first need to become eligible for monetization requires at least 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 watch hours.

Comparatively to Ghana

Spotify's system applies to every country on the continent. Nigeria's edge over its Ghanaian counterpart is the quality of music and the size of the population. Ghana's total population of not more than 30 million people cannot be compared to Nigeria's 240 million people.

Illegal downloads is also rumored to affect the stream earnings of major players in the industry. Award-winning artist, Sarkodie remains the most streamed artist on the platform followed by Kwesi Arthur, King Promise, Stonebwoy, and Shatta Wale per stats in 2021.

According to figures from the Ghanaian online platform, Kuulpeeps, an artist may be getting roughly GHc40 after a thousand streams (from Apple Music which pays more) which will also be split between producers, songwriters and all involved in the making of the song.

Kuulpeeps further stated that Spotify pays artists approximately $0.0018 per stream and $1.80 per 1000 streams.

Apple Music also pays $0.00735 per stream and $7.35 per 1000 streams, and Youtube Music pays $0.0029 per stream and $2.91 per 1000 streams.

This feature was written by Dorcas Agambila