Youtube-Music logo

How much can an Artist earn with Youtube Music?

Ever since Google Play has announced its shutdown, and started converting all its subscribed users to Youtube Music for its streaming royalties, things have been changing quickly.

In May 2018, YouTube announced that we will be saying our final goodbyes to Google Play and embrace a new version of the YouTube Music service, including a web-based desktop player and redesigned mobile app.

But the question we want to ask is this. How much are they going to pay their artists?

Youtube Music

The truth is, I had a decent number for Google Play. But with Youtube Music, it gets a little complicated.

How artists can make money from Youtube’s streaming services?

There are two ways independent record holders or indie musicians can make money through streaming services like Google Play.

1. Upload songs or albums that you own the right to and set a certain price a customer can pay for every download. This is common for Google Play Music.

2. The more common way is through ad revenue. It’s similar to Adsense. In order to earn money by uploading your song, people need to hear some ads to make Google worth the free users.

How much can you earn per stream on Youtube Music in 2024?

Youtube Music’s payout per stream is a proportionate percentage based on ad and subscription revenue. However, because of competition within the streaming industry, Youtube tries to attract more artists to upload their songs. With Google Play, it used to provide one of the highest pay-per-stream rates at an estimated $0.00676 per stream as shown by Vimeo. This meant that you’d need at least 147 people to stream your music in order to make a single dollar. This used to be pretty good, compared to other platforms like:

Of course, there are several other streaming services like Napster and Tidal that pay far more than Google Play. But the number of subscribers they have is significantly fewer at around 3 million each. According to USAToday, Google Play Music (along with Youtube music, because they are both owned by Alphabet) has 20 million paying subscribers. So it is worth giving a shot.

Amazon music streaming

But with Youtube Music, the numbers differ vastly!

There are 3 separate payouts under Youtube.

How to upload your content on Youtube Music?

Royalties through advertising are not the only way to earn money while streaming your music.

Musical artists can also receive up to 70% of their suggested price for every song purchased and Google Play takes a 30% commission on all sales. But in order to be able to upload anything you need to distribute your music with platforms like LANDR or Tunecore.

LANDR dashboardWhat is a distribution platform and why I would recommend it?

Firstly, in order to upload or stream your music or podcast on Amazon Music Spotify, Apple Music or any other streaming platform, you need to release it through a digital music distribution service like LANDR distribution. Why this? Because services LANDR or Tunecore can help you get your music on Google Play and keep your royalties.

Secondly, because of royalties. When you want to sell an entire album, Google Play used to multiply the per-song suggested retail price by the number of tracks on your album. On the downside, LANDR charges a default price for every single song download to USD$1.29 on the customer.

Is Youtube Music worth your time?

While Youtube itself does not pay off as well as Google did, it opens door to a larger audience. Youtube is a big upgrade to the entire streaming industry. It will offer streamer a web-based desktop player and redesigned mobile app. But more importantly, Alphabet wants to test out a more dynamic recommendation base, and use Google AI to search songs based on lyrics and descriptions.

Thanks to all these developments, we will see how the platform will grow.

How to start Promoting your Podcast or Content Online?

If you enjoy speaking and want to share your thoughts and ideas with your audience about what you do, there are two platforms I would highly recommend.


Buzzsprout is a free podcasting platform and software that lets you upload, host, and promote your podcast. From secure and reliable hosting to full iTunes support, HTML5 players, show stats, and of course, Buzzsprout has everything you need to publish and promote your podcast!

They also offer a $20 Amazon Gift Card if you decide to sign up for their paid plans, which you can receive after the second paid invoice.

Podbean is another user-friendly podcast hosting service that allows you to upload your podcast episodes. This means that when someone wants to listen to your content, they’ll download or stream the data from Podbean’s servers.

Podbean helps you publish your podcast to other platforms like iTunes and Google Play. This will also provide features to help you get new listeners, monetize your podcast, and build a simple website.


The video giant, Youtube has opened doors to musicians, artists, podcasters, and all forms of vocal entertainment. Despite the fact that Youtube plays a much lower amount than most streaming services, Youtube Music opens doors to millions of people. Thus, uploading your content on Youtube Music is one of the best choices when it comes to reaching out to your target audience and making some extra money for your efforts.

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William Hall 2021-04-08 at 00:35

Thanks for the article! Do you have a typo in your numbers though? It shows YouTube Music stream to be $0.008 and Google Play stream as 0.00676. This would mean the YouTube Music pays more than Google Play used to, but that isn’t what it sounds like from the general tone of the article.

Guest Poster 2021-04-16 at 09:44

Hi William, Thank you for pointing it out! I’ll have it fixed. 🙂

Justin Burdett 2021-07-06 at 08:20

Hi there, thanks so much for the informative article! Just to confirm, is the payout per YouTube Music stream $0.008 per stream or is the number different from that? I can’t seem to find any other information about YouTube Music stream royalties online, only information about YouTube streams which pay $0.00069 per view but that’s different from a YouTube Music stream ?

Robert Kormoczi 2021-07-06 at 13:30

Hi Justin, with Google Play out of the way, the time this article was written, it was $0,008. For a better update for what it is today, you should get an estimated: $0.00735 according to Visual Capitalist.

Neil 2021-09-25 at 20:11

Hi, so if i have a soundcloud account and make a simple video say with just the song title and a still picture and upload it to youtube do i still own 100% copyright etc? I’m always worried about being ripped off musically. Same with soundcloud monitise, does the listener have to pay me or is it adverts? I have had over 7000 plays on soundcloud and have 70 songs and have no idea of what to do with them next. I don’t want the audience to have to pay for a track yet and if i use their monitise options will listeners know? I don’t do social media so a friend gave me his soundcloud account that i pay £10 a month for and would the songs appear different to the listeners if i select monitise? It ask me all the time. I would really appreciate any help you can give. Thanks so much.

Justice 2021-12-01 at 17:24

I also uploaded my songs on YouTube music
I’ve already have more than 2k viewers
So I want to know what does it means?
Would I get few royalties on my music?
Or it’s just for audience to know my work?
And were do I claim such royalties if it’s there?
Cause I upload myself directly to youtube music not via third party
Thank you

Kindly Regard
Justice Tshumusi

Thank you

Justice 2021-12-01 at 17:46

It’s been wonderful to use your platforms
Such as youtube music but how ever i would like to find out about how it pay the royalties to the Artist
Thank you

MP3 JUICE 2024-05-01 at 12:56

Interesting to see the earning potential for artists on YouTube Music! As someone who consumes a lot of music content on the platform, it’s great to know that there are opportunities for creators to make a decent living from their work. The fact that the earnings can vary widely depending on factors like channel size, engagement, and niche is useful to know. I’ll be keeping an eye on this topic and interested to see how it evolves in the future!


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