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Leaked royalty statement puts Beats Music subscribers above 100,000

By | Published on Tuesday 13 May 2014

Beats Music

Beats Music had just under 111,000 users at the end of March, according to a royalty statement published by The Trichordist.

The document would initially appear to show that the streaming service was doing better than estimates published by Billboard last month. However, it also states that on 31 Mar there where 61,621 subscribers signed up through the AT&T family plan, all of whom would still be within their 90 day free trial at that stage, so at least that many were still not paying for the service.

Interestingly, it also shows that while there are more family subscribers overall, and each of those accounts could have up to five users, the individual subscribers collectively clocked up almost double the amount of track plays. Meanwhile, only around a third of those plays seem to be subject to full royalty payments, due to a promotional rate currently in place.

The Trichordist goes on to note the seemingly low royalty rate paid to publishers and songwriters on this statement, suggesting that Apple’s possible interest in buying the service, as part of a deal to acquire the whole Beats Electronics company, might be to do with not having to pay songwriters very much on streams – $0.000126 per play, according to the statement. Though this suggestion seems to be based on the assumption that there’s no framework in place for those royalty payments to increase down the line, and that Beat’s deals would be allowed to transfer to Apple.

Still, if the streaming service were to be part of a $3.2 billion deal, making the company’s owners very rich indeed, and leaving songwriters out in the cold again, then that would make a lot of them very angry. Except one songwriter, of course. Don’t forget about Dre.