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Musician publishes earning reports to help people decide which services pay fairly

09 December 2016, 17:09 | Written by Laurence Day

An independent musician has made public his earning reports in a bid to show others which services work best for artists.

Seattle's Samuel Orson breaks down exactly how much he gets paid by the likes of Spotify, Bandcamp, and iTunes - and it's a pretty worrying set of figures.

Despite YouTube's much-publicised "$1 billion" paid to the music industry, many/most creators still get almost nothing. Orson estimates that YouTube pays $400 per million streams - that's just $.0004 per stream "with every fucking ad option selected".

Spotify, while better, isn't much better. Orson has racked up a fairly impressive 176,548 streams on the service, and has earned $706.02. That's $.004 a stream.

Bandcamp and iTunes seem to offer the best deal - partly because they actually sell the music - with both netting over three-quarters of the total price paid to the artist (77% from iTunes, 78% from Bandcamp).

Orson hasn't published the numbers to specifically call out any companies, but rather to show others exactly where offers the best rates/deal.

"I would like to show the actual breakdown of where the money goes across a variety of different music distribution platforms, so you can decide for yourself what is fair, and what is not," writes Orson. "I decided to publicly publish all my financial information for the past year. I am an independent musician, that creates instrumental guitar music. I am not bringing home the big bucks, but I feel I have enough information to give an accurate financial depiction. I have all the charts and screenshots published in an imgur link."

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