Musician Casting Blog

All My Streams, Never Quite as They Seem...

Posted on January 27, 2020, 12:00 am

If you’re an independent artist, the choice of the right streaming service for your music shouldn’t be taken lightly. You need to keep in mind what you’re trying to accomplish with your music before you sign up with any service. Depending on your genre, fanbase, licensing situation, among others, certain streaming services may benefit you more than others. Some services can expose your music to a larger audience, others even let you sell merchandise. It all boils down to your particular needs and wants. I would encourage you to do the research before committing. Your music is a part of your soul, after all, so you want it in good hands.

Gone are the days when most of an artist’s income came from selling physical products. No use in being nostalgic about the times you’d walk into a retail store with your hard-earned dollars and left with a compact disc under your arm. The times have changed and the revolution has been digitized. Yes, vinyl has become a hot commodity, but digital is still king, for good or ill.

Most music streaming services use a licensing model called service-centric. The problem with this model is that, for the most part, independent artists fall by the wayside. You’re either up there with Top 40 platinum artists garnering millions of plays, or you’re relegated to obscurity with only a few cents to show for your hard work. The odds are stacked against the little guys. That’s not hyperbole, it’s just a fact.

A helpful tool to determine how many streams you’d need in order to earn a profit is a royalties calculator. By multiplying fractions of cents, you’ll get an idea of the profit you stand to make depending on the number of streams you generate.

Again, take the time to choose the best music streaming service that will help you grow and sustain your career. As an emerging artist, your fanbase may be small but I’m sure your dreams are big. Put in the hours and you’re bound to see results.


In the end, making and living music is about enhancing your life and the lives of those around you. Yes, put in the time to think things through, but don’t lose sight of the reasons you started making music. Don’t lose sight of that passion that has driven you from day one. There’s magic there and that’s something worth celebrating. 


Now press play!


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