Apple Music In 114 Countries, But At Very Different Costs
As far as geographical spread goes Apple Music seems to be winning the streaming wars, having expanded to 114 different countries. Interestingly, however, it seems Apple is using variable pricing in these different locations, unbeknownst to many artists and publishers.
Guest Post by Bobby Owsinski on Music 3.0
If you want to get your music to be heard in every part of the planet, then Apple Music is currently the way to go. Apple recently announced that it has expanded its reach to 114 countries, far more than any other service at the moment.
Spotify, which Music Business Worldwide now estimates at 36 million paid subscribers, is only in 60 countries at the moment, and despite the graphic disadvantage, seems to be growing faster than Apple Music. Still, you can’t argue with the footprint that Apple Music has, as it’s now available in in prized territories like China, Turkey, Taiwan and Israel.
One of the things that most artists and bands aren’t aware of though, is that Apple Music utilizes variable pricing from country to country. This means that while subscribers in the U.S. pay $9.99 per month, Israeli subscribers pay about $5.20 and Russian subscribers around $3. That means that if most of your streams come from a low paying territory, you’ll be paid a lower royalty as a result.
The variable pricing is a result of a “what the market will bear” that Apple also uses for iTunes, which proved to be successful in the past.
In the last few years Spotify has also launched in a number of other countries as well, adding Italy, Poland, Portugal, Mexico, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, Estonia, Latvia, Bolivia, Bulgaria, Turkey, Chile, Cyprus and Czech Republic to the list. The company expects to launch in Russia and Japan later this year. Spotify also utilizes variable pricing, but most of the time the price is actually higher than the U.S. For instance, Australians pay $11.25 while Swedes pay the equivalent of $15.22. Poles only pay $6.62 however.
What this shows is that streaming is expanding both territorially, and revenue-wise, which can only be good for artists, bands, labels and songwriters everywhere. The problem is that the variable pricing makes it a lot more difficult to determine just how much an average stream is worth, something that will haunt us all for some time.