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How Much Does Distrokid Pay per Stream? (Less Than You Think)


Have you ever wondered how much your favorite artist makes for every stream on Distrokid?

If you’re reading this, there’s a good chance you’re a musician, and you want to know how much money you can make from streaming on Distrokid.

Or perhaps, you’re a fan looking to support an artist through streaming their videos or audios on Distrokid.

Either way, I will explain in detail how the royalties from streaming work and how much artists truly earn from each stream.

Let me start by saying that I do not set the amount of money each artist earns per stream in stone. Instead, it’s based on certain factors, which I will also cover in this piece.

How Much Does Distrokid Pay per Stream?


The amount each artist makes varies widely. Here is the explanation:

Distrokid only pays artists the amount they receive from various services. For example, Spotify pays between $0.0033 to $0.0054, while YouTube pays $0.002 per stream.

It means a video posted on Spotify through Distrokid will pay at least $0.0013 more than YouTube.

According to Distrokid, they only extract the banking or transaction fees and remit 100% of the remaining cash to your account. However, we’ve confirmed that they extract 20% of royalties from YouTube.

Additionally, each artist has a royalty rate Distrokid uses to calculate the final pay.

How Distrokid Calculates Royalty Rate

Distrokid considers a range of factors to come up with a royalty rate. Here are the primary factors:

The Popularity of Your Album or Single

Distrokid uses a proprietary algorithm to calculate how many streams are needed to break even on mastering, distribution, and other costs. Therefore, the more popular your album or single, the fewer streams it takes to break even.

For example, if you have an album that has been downloaded 100 times and is being streamed 20 times for every download, it will take about five streams for each download to break even.

Country of Streaming

does distrokid PAY STREAMS

Royalty payment by Distrokid is determined by the country where the stream comes from, not by where the artist lives. For example, streams from the US are paid at different rates than streams from Canada.

Also, streams from the US are eligible for SoundExchange royalties, and those from Canada are eligible for SOCAN royalties.

All streams on SoundExchange amass up to 45% of the royalties paid straight to the artist’s account. Conversely, SOCAN will pay 100% of the royalties to Distrokid, which the platform passes to the artist.

Whether You’re Signed By a Label

There are two different types of royalties with Distrokid. There’s the “distribution” royalty and the “publishing” royalty.

The distribution rate depends on the number of streams your songs get, while the publishing rate is based on how many times your song is streamed.

If you have a label and have signed an agreement with them, then Distrokid will collect your distribution royalties and pay them directly to your label.

If there’s no label involved, then Distrokid will collect your publishing royalties and send them straight to your account.

distrokid pay stream apple MUSIC

Date of Streaming

The date when the streaming occurs significantly affects the amount you will earn on Distrokid. Here is the explanation:

Suppose a song is streamed on December 31st and released on November 15th. In that case, Distrokid will divide the royalties for this song into two periods: November 15th to December 31st and January 1st to whatever day in February (there are two months of January and February).

When you divide royalties by 100%, we get “average revenue per play (ARPPU).” This is how much you can expect to earn per stream.

The ARPPU depends on several factors such as release date, genre, etc. But mostly, it depends on how many days there were between the release date and streaming date.

So, How Much Does Distrokid Pay per Stream for Major Artists?

The amount Distrokid pays major artists varies mainly by service, but it’s usually between $0.005 and $0.0084 (USD).

Here is how Distrokid will calculate your payment if you’re a major artist:

  • Spotify – The average payout from Spotify is currently between $0.005 and $0.0084 (USD) per stream, depending on what type of account they have (premium or non-premium).
  • Apple Music – The average payout from Apple Music is currently between $0.0049 and $0.0079 (USD) per stream. This amount varies based on your audience’s account type (premium or free.)
  • iTunes – iTunes pays about the same as Apple Music, but there are fewer listeners overall, so your earnings will be lower than if you were on Apple Music or Spotify. The average payout from iTunes is currently between $0.005 to $0.009.

Does Distrokid Pay Every Month?

Yes, Distrokid pays every month. You’ll get your first payment the following month after you sign up.

So if you sign up on date 1, your first payment will be date 1 of the following month for sales made in the days in-between.

Distrokid payments are automated, so you don’t need to make any requests. Once the payment date reaches, Distrokid will email you that they’ve reimbursed the money.

The platform works with Wise as a default payment gateway. However, you can choose other convenient payment options like Skrill, Paypal, bank transfer, or Bitcoin.

How Long Do Withdrawals Take?


Generally, it takes 1-14 days to withdraw from Distrokid successfully. The platform’s payment processor is Wise, and their processing duration varies on the account type and location.

For example, if you’re using a personal account in the United States, it takes 3-7 days for payments to be processed and funds to be available.

If you’re using a business account in the United States, it takes 2-4 days for payments to be processed and funds to be available.

What’s The Minimum Withdrawal Amount You Can Make on Distrokid?

The least you can withdraw on Distrokid is $2. If you have less than $2 in your account, you’ll have to wait for more royalties. Unfortunately, it also means you’ll only be able to cash out on the next pay date.

What are the Withdrawal Charges on Distrokid?

Distrokid automatically subtracts a small portion of your royalties for transfer or banking fees. This amount is the same for all Distrokid users and varies depending on the service.

When you sign up, you will be charged a one-time fee to use our service, which is currently $19.99 per year for one band or artist. For example, a band of two artists will pay $35.99 annually.

You can check the total amount you can spend on the platform’s website. This amount covers all the business’s costs and allows Distrokid to provide services at no additional costs.

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Where Do I Enter My Payout Preferences So I Can Get Paid?

To get paid, you need to have a payout preference set up. This is done through your account settings.

You can access your account settings by clicking on the gear icon in the page’s upper right corner and then on Account Settings.

Once you’re there, scroll down until you see Payout Preferences. Click the Edit link next to your payouts preferences and choose the option that best suits your needs.

If you want to receive all sales payments directly into your bank account, select Direct Deposit as your preferred payment method. If you’d prefer to get paid via check instead, choose Check (US only).

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