The digital music universe has come a long way since the Napster era, and these days, that means a good number of paid subscription services are angling to serve all the music you could imagine in a legally acceptable fashion. But getting music-subscription dollars into your favorite musicians’ hands remains a sticking point.
As far as musicians are concerned, Apple Music is still one of the better payout services, with the company officially estimating as much as one penny paid per streamed song, while Spotify maxes out at less than half a penny per stream—and those payouts can drop based on whatever wacky spreadsheet-calculus each service runs in the background. Either way, that math checks out; your $10 or $15 per month can only be divided so far between hundreds of song streams.
If you’re willing to open your wallet a little wider for downloaded music, today’s return of the Bandcamp Fridays promotion is a massive counterbalance to underpaying subscription services. And it’s a good excuse to point to Bandcamp as a feature-rich, mobile-friendly option for buying music online.