Some may call Spotify the savior of the music industry—but for lesser-known artists, it doesn't appear to be a cash cow. The Next Web reviews analyses of what bands are making from Spotify and Apple's iTunes Match, and the numbers aren't impressive. On Spotify, a band reports making $0.0097 per play, while on iTunes Match it's $0.0033. Because they're paying $50 to get their music on the services, they'd need 5,171 Spotify plays or 15,127 iTunes Match plays to break even. A web developer's analyses finds similar figures.
It's important to note that iTunes Match requires a user to purchase the song before gaining access to streaming. Still, for a relatively unknown band, those figures pose a serious challenge. "The moral of the story? If you hear a band that you love on your favorite streaming service, then buy their stuff outright from wherever you can find it," writes Matthew Panzarino. Otherwise, they may not be around long.