How Much Does TIDAL Pay Per Stream?

As the music scene evolves, the TIDAL pay per stream structure remains a hot topic among musicians, record labels, and industry folks. This is because it directly impacts artists’ earnings on the platform. Therefore, understanding where it stands can help you determine if TIDAL is a lucrative investment.

TIDAL is the highest-paying music streaming platform, outperforming Spotify and Apple Music. It has also demonstrated a commitment to helping artists monetize their work through the Direct-to-Artist Program (DAP) and TIDAL Rising. While TIDAL’s payout per stream is high, several factors influence the overall artist payout. That includes the listener’s geographic location and your agreement with your music distributor.

Several music artists have bet on TIDAL and emerged as trailblazing successes. If you’re on the fence about investing time and energy into promoting your music on TIDAL, understanding your potential royalty payout might help.

This post covers all you need to know about TIDAL’s pay per stream rate. But first, let’s explore how TIDAL pays artists.

*Please Note: Our numbers are based on sales in the US market. Other global markets could influence the average royalty payment rate received.

How Does TIDAL Pay Artists?

TIDAL’s payout system has undergone significant changes since the platform’s inception in 2014. As a champion for fair artist compensation, they rolled out a user-centric payment system called the Direct-to-Artist Program (DAP).

DAP distributed 10% of each TIDAL HiFi listener's monthly subscription to their most-streamed artist. And it sent shockwaves through the music industry, as other popular music streaming services, like Spotify, were notorious for low royalty payouts.

However, due to undesired results, the program was terminated. Still, that didn’t erode TIDAL’s commitment to helping emerging artists earn a livable income.

Today, TIDAL mainly uses a pro-rata royalty payment system. That means your royalties are a proportionate share of TIDAL’s income based on your streams.

TIDAL also has its ‘TIDAL Rising’ program, of which Chloe x Halle and A Boogie wit da Hoodie are alumni. This program is committed to investing at least $5 million into up-and-coming musicians. As a result, it’s likely to provide ten times more than TIDAL pay per stream via DAP.

What Is TIDAL’s Pay Per Stream Rate?

TIDAL’s pay per stream rate is between $0.01 and $0.05, with the average payout being $0.01284 per stream. The average payout is nearly triple that of other music streaming services with larger user bases.

So, given the TIDAL payout per stream, how many streams would earn you $1? Roughly 77. And about 1,000 streams will earn you $12.84, while 1 million streams will earn you approximately $12,840.

As one of the highest-paying music streaming platforms, TIDAL is committed to rewarding musicians for their work. However, TIDAL’s exact user count is a mystery within the music industry.

As a result, your streaming earnings might be less than those of its competitors. After all, a high TIDAL pay per stream doesn’t necessarily signal significant cash flow if the platform has a fraction of Spotify’s users.

Also, established musicians with a large fanbase who consistently top charts may negotiate higher royalty rates. Therefore, up-and-coming artists may find that they earn less.

However, the specifics of each artist’s royalty payouts are determined by their contracts and agreements with the platform and are rarely disclosed.

Musician working out his TIDAL pay per stream

Factors Influencing Your TIDAL Payout Per Stream

Listener Geographic Location

Where listeners are based influences your overall TIDAL royalty payout because the value of a play varies globally. Every country has a unique economic landscape. Therefore, in some countries, users pay more based on their country’s economy, while others pay less.

Now, this isn’t only the case with TIDAL. All other music streaming service payouts are affected by geographical nuances.

So, what does this mean for your payouts? TIDAL’s pay per stream from listeners living in countries with a lower subscription and currency value will be less.

TIDAL’s User Base

The amount of people listening to tracks and signing up for subscriptions is another crucial factor influencing your overall TIDAL payout. With more users using the music streaming platform, more streams are generated, and musicians receive higher payouts.

However, there’s a catch. A platform could have a high royalty payment rate with few subscribers. This would be a significant drawback compared to a platform with a low royalty payment rate and more users.

In the case of TIDAL, its exact user base is not publicly disclosed. Therefore, it can be tricky for music artists to determine if their TIDAL stream payout will be higher than that of popular platforms.

Your Music Distributor

All musicians, music distributors, and streaming platforms have unique relationships with one another. Some distributors might charge to get your music on platforms like TIDAL, enabling you to keep your total royalty payments. In contrast, others might offer a free service in exchange for a portion of your streaming revenue.

Your deal with your music distribution company can influence your TIDAL pay per stream. Therefore, understand your agreements and how much of a cut the company wants to take before signing.

Promotions, Exclusive Content, & Playlisting

Artist royalty payouts on TIDAL can also be influenced by the platform’s exclusive content and promotions. Collaborations, exclusive releases, and promotional backing from TIDAL can boost your streams, resulting in higher earnings.

Furthermore, your visibility and streaming numbers can increase if your songs are featured on curated playlists. Therefore, keep an eye out for TIDAL’s programs and initiatives that can help you boost your royalty payouts.

For instance, you can leverage TIDAL Collabs to find artists to collaborate with on a new track. You can also sign up for TIDAL Rising to increase your chances of finding the support you need in your career.

Track/Album Popularity

The buzz your track or album receives on TIDAL is also essential to your royalty payout. Your streams will increase if users can’t get enough of your music. And the more streams your tracks receive, the more you will earn. As a result, musicians with a dedicated fanbase or chart-topping tracks will likely have higher royalty payouts.

As a musician, you likely know that the quality of your tracks influences a listener’s ability to enjoy them. Therefore, it’s essential to release high-quality tracks on TIDAL.

Tips for Musicians to Boost Streams on TIDAL

So the prospect of boosting your earnings through TIDAL has pulled you in. However, unless you can garner a significant number of streams, your earnings may not be that much. Luckily, there are several strategies you can employ to boost your tracks’ or albums’ streams. Let’s explore them below.

Create High-Quality Music

As a musician, you likely know that the quality of your tracks influences a listener’s ability to enjoy them. Therefore, it’s essential to release high-quality tracks on TIDAL.

But what goes into high-quality music? These are some of the critical elements:

  • Having the right equipment: It’s not always necessary to have expensive gear, but having the essentials for recording and producing music is vital.
  • Studio-quality recording: Always aim for studio-quality recordings. This means choosing a quiet location, investing in a decent microphone, and perhaps using a pop filter to boost audio quality. The better the recording sounds, the better the foundation for the final product. To achieve this, check out our tips for home studio recording.
  • Music production skills: Learning sound design, mixing, mastering, and building an efficient workflow can significantly improve your song’s quality

Besides the audio production process, consider trending songs in your genre. Perhaps they can inspire your next track.

Overall, the higher the quality of your tracks, the more plays they’re likely to get on TIDAL. And this may translate to higher royalty payouts.

Promote Your Music on Social Media

Leveraging your existing social media audience is an effective strategy to boost streams on TIDAL. Instead of trying to get users' attention on the platform, you can prompt your fans to play your songs on TIDAL. Then, once your existing fans push your track up the ranks, you may gain interest from other users.

Here are some social media promotion ideas:

  • Share your TIDAL releases in musician Facebook groups
  • Create a TikTok or Instagram Reel featuring a snippet of your song and prompt viewers to stream the full version on TIDAL
  • Share tweets about your latest single, EP, or album

Promoting music on social media can help build credibility, increase streams, and potentially influence payouts on TIDAL.

Collaborate with Other Artists

Creating tracks with other musicians is one of several hacks for success within the music industry. Why? Collaborating with another music artist means you can tap into their audience and vice versa. It’s a winning scenario for both of you.

Therefore, consider creating a song with another musician to increase your streams on TIDAL. Ideally, any music artist you collaborate with should have as large a fanbase as yours. And they should have a similar sound or make music in the same genre.

Besides reaching a new audience with your music, collaborations can also help you discover opportunities and learn from other musicians.

Musician/producer in recording studio checking his TIDAL pay per stream

Become a Pro at Curating Playlists

Most listeners on music streaming platforms flock to playlists to discover new music. Therefore, create playlists on TIDAL that include your favorite tracks and songs you’ve released on the platform.

You can also go the extra mile and create mood or themed playlists. For instance, you can pool songs that fit under ‘study tracks.’ With a mix of your music and popular songs, you can draw users in and make discovering your music easier.

Leverage Other Promotional Strategies

Another way to boost streams on TIDAL is to think outside the box when it comes to promotions. Perhaps you could host a giveaway where you prompt listeners to share your TIDAL track to their socials. Then you can attach a prize like free tickets to your upcoming show. Alternatively, create a dance challenge on TikTok and bring TIDAL into the mix.

Music blogs are also beneficial for increasing artist recognition and visibility. Therefore, search for popular blogs that would be interested in featuring your music. Then, you could arrange for a writeup to promote your TIDAL tracks, which could play out as an increase in streams on the platform.

Furthermore, you can use paid advertising. Creating targeted ads on TikTok, Facebook, or YouTube can help you promote your music while driving traffic to your TIDAL page.

Have a Consistent Release Strategy

Maintaining an active presence on TIDAL can also help you increase your streams. Users on the platform can access thousands of songs, so they’ll likely shuffle between artists.

The last thing you want is to release a song, go silent for months, then come back with a new release, and no one remembers you. This is especially possible if you’re new to the industry and have not established a name for yourself.

Therefore, have a consistent release strategy to remain in the game. Now, this doesn’t mean you should become a music-making machine. Adopting that mentality could lead to losing your style and joy for making music. Instead, release alternative content like:

  • Cover songs/remixes
  • One-off collaborations
  • Live recordings
  • Alternate versions of songs

The aim is regular music releases that maintain your fans’ interest and attract more listeners. Over time, as you demonstrate your commitment to delivering fresh and new music to your fans, your TIDAL plays could gradually increase.

*Please Note: Our numbers are based on sales in the US market. Other global markets could influence the average royalty payment rate received.

TIDAL Pay Per Stream: The Bottom Line

With TIDAL’s pay per stream rate at $0.01284 on average, the platform is a top consideration for many artists looking to boost their earnings. However, your actual payout can be impacted by song popularity, listener’s geographic locations, and more.

Still, TIDAL is worth considering as a potential income stream. Therefore, as an artist, you can optimize your earnings by understanding the nuances of TIDAL pay per stream. And leveraging the platform's features to enhance visibility.

TIDAL stream payouts are but one source of income for musicians. You can also have your tracks optioned for TV shows and commercials. But how do you go about this process?

Work with a reputable music publisher like Sugo Music Group. With over 35 years of experience in the music industry, they can get your songs published worldwide. And they’ll ensure you earn the royalties you deserve for your work.

*Please Note: Our numbers are based on sales in the US market. Other global markets could influence the average royalty payment rate received.

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