Apple Music pays a penny per stream

A woman wearing headphones and a mask
Photo by Chris Welch / The Verge

Apple Music’s payment rate for artists and labels is fundamentally a penny per stream, according to a letter from the company posted on its artist dashboard and first reported by the Wall Street Journal. That payment rate is higher than Spotify, which has a confusing variable rate scheme that basically tops out at a half-penny per stream.

Announcing a penny-per-stream rate is a nice PR win for Apple Music, since it is 1. very simple and 2. Spotify hates talking about its per-stream payments, which the company insists are a misleading figure. Seriously, it just launched an entire website called Loud&Clear last month designed to help artists and fans understand how payments work, and a good chunk of it is devoted to explaining why…

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