Economist David Touve has been crunching data from PPL and the BBC, as well as RAJAR estimates of UK radio listening audiences, to calculate the ‘spin value’ of a track played on UK radio, compared to the payouts artists get from Spotify streams. “I estimate the value of a single radio “spin” to a single listener in the UK to be £0.000073 (or $0.00012). Alternatively stated, the value of a “spin” to an audience of 1,000,000 listeners is about £73 (or $120),” writes Touve. “For comparison, I believe the value estimated above is 1/36th the rate reported by Zoe Keating ($0.0042) for her receipts from streaming music services (e.g., Spotify), 1/10th the rate ($0.0011) paid by Pureplay Webcasters in the US (e.g., Pandora), and 1/18th the CRB-established default Webcaster rate ($0.0021) in the US.” Not that this will convince Spotify’s critics within the artist community: many artists see radio as promotional for sales through other channels, but fear streams are more cannibalistic – despite Spotify and several label partners’ claims otherwise.

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