As a part of the platform’s efforts to aid musicians in any way they can, Billboard Global has recently announced their new feature of a streaming royalty calculator made for both Spotify and Apple Music to their readers.

This special calculator was created by Manatt, Phelps & Philips, a legal and consulting firm that specializes in the music industry, to aid artists in understanding the value of streaming numbers. According to the firm, the calculator bases its analysis on U.S. data collected from direct source payers, and it offers to give answers and insights to every creator and rights holder to understand the true value of the music they published.

The calculator was made to be user-friendly, with an accessible, easy-to-use interface that asks users to type in the number of streams generated by a song or album and then the app will provide the following data:

  • Total payout for the accumulated number of streams
  • The sound recording payout for the copyright owner of the song
  • Mechanical royalties paid to the music publisher (which also gets to pay the songwriter)
  • performance royalties paid to the performance rights organizations (also known as the PROs), such as ASCAP, BMI, GMR, and SESAC, who are in charge of paying songwriters and the publishers

The calculated amount from the result represents a blended rate of all the tiers offered by streaming services –– which includes a blended rate from each platform’s paid tier; ad-supported tier, and other various tiers that are to be counted. Such rates from these tiers also vary for each streaming platform as well.

The payout totals are based on the amount of subscriber fees that Spotify and Apple Music collect from their subscribers each month, and also on the number of plays for the music. Though these numbers fluctuate and are not constant, Billboard’s calculator is updated monthly –– but operates on a three-month lag, as this is when the information from streaming services becomes available.

According to data supplied to Billboard from industry sources, contrary to what people may assume at a glance, Apple Music does generate higher play rates in comparison to Spotify but the latter platform’s larger subscriber amount allows it to pay more collectively to labels and publishers in the United States. Within the first six months of 2023, Spotify paid labels and publishers a whopping amount of $1.84 Billion as compared to $1.68 Billion from Apple Music. Spotify’s lower per-play rate is dependent on a variety of factors, such a its tiers collectively having more than twice as many plays as the combined total streams generated by Apple Music’s system.

You may access and try out Billboard’s Royalty Calculator here.