Songwriters are typically paid for streaming through a combination of mechanical royalties and performance royalties. Mechanical royalties are paid to songwriters for the reproduction and distribution of their musical compositions on platforms like streaming services. Performance royalties are paid to songwriters for the public performance of their songs, including when those songs are streamed on platforms like Spotify or Apple Music.
In the United States, mechanical royalties are typically paid by streaming services to music publishers, who then pay the songwriters their share. Performance royalties are paid by streaming services to performing rights organizations (PROs) like ASCAP or BMI, who then pay the songwriters their share. In other countries, the process may be slightly different.
The amount of money that a songwriter receives from streaming depends on various factors, including the popularity of the song, the terms of their publishing and songwriting contracts, and the specific streaming service. Some songwriters are paid a flat rate per stream, while others receive a percentage of the revenue generated by the streaming of their songs.