How does streaming convert to paychecks?


So as if the subject of streaming doesn't already spark up a lot of questions, Geoff Barrow of Portishead, tweeted, “34,000,000 streams / Income After tax = £1700 / Thank U @apple @YouTube @Spotify / especially @UMG_News for selling our music so cheaply” a few weeks ago. 

Barrow’s per-stream rate, as he states, works out to $0.000074, Ed Christman who works for Billboard tryed to clear it up:

"If there were three members, that comes out to $0.000222 per stream. So if that is the per-stream rate, now we wonder: what kind of contract does the band have? Assuming that the band is still under the terms of the original contract it signed more than 20 years ago, it likely means that the label is treating the streaming deal as a license, which means that artists and labels split revenue 50/50. But not all labels treated digital like that, especially where downloading was involved. (Somewhere along the way, labels realized that the digital world required a change in the wording of contracts, and nowadays licensing deals don’t automatically split all licensed deals 50/50. In fact, the wording has been changed so that in many contracts streaming is treated just like a sold CD, with the artist just getting his typical – lower – royalty payments. A court case was just settled on that point by Universal Music Group.)"  - Billboard

You can check out the whole read HERE

Simply put, streaming gives you a pretty bad per stream rate with very high figures equating to low income. That being said with the industry being the way it is today and new music being VERY hard to actually get radio play and shops not stocking Cds like they used too (UK in particular) the only way someone is going to explore your EP or album is with streaming. If streaming didn't equal sales of some sort their really wouldn't be anyone uploading their own music to it. 

PropertyofZach runs a podcast weekly with a great insight into the buisness for indiependent artists/labels at the moment. Check out their latest one where they explain streaming in a pretty raw sense