87,606 have signed. Let’s get to 150,000!
Petition to
Daniel Ek and

Why this petition matters

Started by For the People

1¢ per Play!

Here we are, begging for 1¢ PER PLAY from a multibillionaire CEO. WE DESERVE JUSTICE!

Spotify: $0.004 per play
Tidal: $0.012 per play
Apple Music: $0.007 per play
YouTube: $0.00069 per view

“If” an artist got 1 million streams the payout would be as follows:

Spotify: $4,000/ 1 million streams
Tidal: $12,000/ 1 million streams
Apple Music: $7,000/ 1 million streams
YouTube: $690/ 1 million streams

The CEO of Spotify, Daniel Ek said in an interview, “You can’t record every three to four years and think that’s going to be enough.” 

In response to that, we would like to point out that making more records is impossible given the current economics of major streaming services. Spotify, the leading service, with a 35% global share in 2019, is ‘setting the standard’ at $0.004/ stream. That is ONE THIRD (1/3) of what Tidal offers and nearly half of the Apple Music payout.

Everyone would like to release an album more than every three to four years, but the costs of such a project are exuberant!

A musician spends on average $5,000 to produce and promote a song properly. In the very ideal scenario of 1 million streams at $0.004/ stream, artists would not even BREAK-EVEN.

Here’s what it costs to produce a song (average rates):

Hiring musicians (Drums, Bass, Guitar, Keys, and Voice): $250 x 5 = $1,250
Pre-production: $350
Mixing: $450
Mastering: $250 

Total per song: $2,300

That does not even include other instruments, such as a brass section, percussion etc. Unless you do everything yourself, the cost of making a single song is very high. This is also part of the reason why the quality of music has been degrading in recent years. 

On that basis, making a 10-song album would cost over $20,000!

Now, to make a music video? $5,000-$15,000, in some cases even more!

These costs do not even factor-in PR and the artist’s time to write, compose and produce the record.

Especially in the time of a pandemic, where no shows or tours mean no additional income.

Making $4,000/ 1 million streams is not even enough to make a SINGLE, let alone an entire record. And that is IF anyone can get to a million streams.

We demand that all streaming services, such as Spotify, PAY ARTISTS AT LEAST 1¢ PER PLAY! 


How the petition started:

I’ve been a professional drummer for the past 12 years and recently released a single called “Can’t Pretend” under the artist name SALIN. Getting ready to release my album, I had been researching the music industry and how artists get paid. In a discussion with an artist friend of mine who was already on Spotify, I was told that for every 10,000 plays, he gets $40. This blew my mind. I knew that there must be a more fair and ethical way of consuming music, so after reading the post by Maya Malkin I decided to start this petition. 

You can read her full post here:

On behalf of every artist,

87,606 have signed. Let’s get to 150,000!