Apple Music has told artists and labels that it pays double Spotify’s average streaming royalties.
Last month, Spotify launched a website as part of its pledge on greater transparency on streaming royalties. It comes amid a UK parliamentary inquiry into the economics of streaming and how labels share royalties with artists.
Now Apple has responded with a letter delivered via the streaming service’s artist dashboard and sent to labels and publishers.
According to the letter, seen by the Wall Street Journal, Apple Music pays one cent per stream, which is roughly double Spotify’s average rate (one third to half a cent per stream).
The report also cites industry experts who say that Apple Music payments can go lower.
In the letter, Apple says it pays 52% of subscription revenue to record labels.
"As the discussion about streaming royalties continues, we believe it is important to share our values," Apple said in the letter. "We believe in paying every creator the same rate, that a play has a value, and that creators should never have to pay" [for their music to be promoted within the app]. That appears to be a reference to Spotify’s move six months ago to offer labels and artists a reduced promotional royalty rate.
Spotify has 155 million paying subscribers and 345 million total users, according to its most recent results in Q4. As the market leader, its user base produces more streams than Apple Music.
Apple Music last reported that it had 60m subscribers, though it has not revealed any new figures in the last two years.