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Pandora Vs. Spotify Vs. Apple Music Vs. Soundcloud: Which Is Better For The Artist?

Pandora Vs. Spotify Vs. Apple Music Vs. Soundcloud: Which Is Better For The Artist?

Wayne Duggan

Pandora Media Inc (NYSE: P) has rolled out is new Artist Marketing Platform (AMP), which features a number of marketing tools that artists can use to promote their music.

Streaming music services have gotten a lot of criticism lately for how little they pay artists for their music. Taylor Swift has been one of the most recognizable and vocal artists speaking out against how streaming services like Spotify treat musical artists.

Pandora’s new AMP is the company’s latest effort to reach out to those artists that provide the content that their business is based on. Here’s a look at what each of the major streaming services offer artists in terms of pay, perks and marketing services.


Pandora’s new AMP includes several artist-friendly features. Artist Audio Messages allow artists to record short, targeted spoken messages to play before or after their tracks to help with marketing. Featured Tracks allows artists to promote single tracks and receive real-time feedback from listeners. Ticketfly Integration allows artists to customize their audio messages, integrate concert ticket sales (including a “click to buy” ticket link), and optimize promotions for specific events and locations.

Back in February, federal judges ruled that Pandora must pay artists a blended advertising/subscription rate of $0.0017 per stream.


According to Spotify Artists’ website, Spotify also has several useful features for artists. Spotify automatically sends out email and mobile notifications to followers every time an artist releases new music. Songkick integration allows artists to display tour dates directly on their profile. Merchbar also allows artists to easily list and sell merchandise.

In addition, Spotify offers artists a wide range of other data and marketing tools.

As of about a year ago, Spotify was reportedly paying artists $0.0011 per stream.

Apple Music

Apple Music for Artists allows artists to share content and activity on Connect. Artists can post links and thoughts on their Connect feed. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) reportedly pays artists $0.0013 per streaming play.

Related Link: Sirius XM Counting Down To Competition From Apple CarPlay And The Android Auto System


SoundCloud Spotlight allows artists to pin up to five tracks or playlists to their profile to showcase their best work. Timed comments allows artists to engage with their fans about individual tracks. Artists can edit in batch by simultaneously updating artwork for many tracks at once. Artists can also tag their music to optimize search traffic.

In addition, artists can track activity over time and identify top cities, countries and users for each track. Artists also get to see which websites have embedded their music and which SoundCloud apps their tracks are being streamed from.

SoundCloud currently offers four distinct membership tiers for artists. The features mentioned above are available at the Pro Unlimited tier, which costs $15 per month. The top tier, Premier, is by invitation only. Premier is the level at which artists can begin making money for their tracks via advertising revenue sharing, but there is no set rate of payment for each streaming play.


This summary is just a basic overview of some of the options that are out there for music artists. The best option comes down to which goals are most important for each individual artist. However, it’s important to keep expectations for streaming revenue fairly low unless you’re already a well-established star.

One band that drew more than a million streams on Spotify back in 2013 reported only $4,955 in total revenue. Even that rate comes in at $0.004891/stream, well above the latest reported rates of the major streaming services.

See more from Benzinga

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© 2016 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.

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