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Music Distribution Basics: How Music Streaming Generates Revenue in India

India’s music distribution landscape is experiencing a digital revolution, with streaming platforms like Gaana, JioSaavn, Spotify, and Apple Music taking center stage. But amidst the vast libraries and personalized playlists, a crucial question emerges: how does revenue flow in these platforms, and how does it reach the artists who create the music? This blog post delves into the intricate financial ecosystem of Indian music streaming, exploring the different revenue models and highlighting the importance of music distributors like ForeVision Digital in ensuring fair compensation for artists.

How do streaming platforms earn?
Music distribution basics

Music streaming platforms generate revenue through several key channels:

1. Subscriptions: This is the primary model, where users pay a monthly or annual fee for unlimited access to music. Platforms offer tiered subscriptions with varying features, generating different revenue per user.

2. Advertising: Free tiers incorporate advertisements between songs or during playback, with revenue based on ad impressions or clicks.

3. In-app purchases: Some platforms offer additional features like ad-free listening, high-quality streaming, or exclusive content through in-app purchases, generating one-time or recurring revenue.4. Partnerships: Platforms may partner with telecom operators or other brands, offering bundled subscriptions or exclusive content deals, generating revenue through sponsorship or co-branding agreements.

Sharing the Stage: How Artists Earn:

Now, let’s see how this revenue reaches the artists:

  • Revenue Share: Platforms typically share a portion of their overall revenue (often between 60-70%) with rights holders based on user listening habits and other factors. This share is then distributed among artists, labels, and publishers based on their respective rights ownership.
  • Direct Deals: Some platforms offer direct deals with major labels or artists, bypassing the revenue share model and agreeing on a fixed fee or other arrangements.

The Role of Music Distributors:

Music distributors like ForeVision Digital play a crucial role in maximizing artists’ earnings within this complex ecosystem. Here’s how:

  • Global Reach: We distribute music to a vast network of streaming platforms and retailers worldwide, including those specifically serving the Indian market, ensuring wider reach and potential earnings.
  • Transparent Reporting: We provide detailed and transparent royalty reports, enabling artists to track their earnings across different platforms and territories.
  • Negotiation Expertise: We navigate complex licensing agreements and royalty structures, ensuring artists receive their fair share of revenue across various models.

Data Insights: We offer data-driven insights into listening trends and user behavior, helping artists understand their audience and optimize their music distribution strategy.

Beyond the Charts: Challenges and Opportunities:

While streaming offers significant opportunities, challenges remain:

  • Low per-stream pay-outs: With millions of artists vying for attention, individual royalty earnings per stream can be low, especially for independent artists.
  • Transparency concerns: Complex algorithms and revenue-sharing models can make it difficult for artists to understand and track their earnings accurately.
  • Unequal playing field: Major labels often have better negotiating power and distribution deals, potentially disadvantaging independent artists.

The Power of Partnership:

By partnering with a knowledgeable music distributor like ForeVision Digital, artists can navigate these challenges and maximize their earning potential:

  • Distribution Optimization: We ensure music is accurately categorized and tagged, increasing its discoverability on platforms and potentially boosting streams.
  • Fan Engagement Strategies: We offer guidance on promoting music through social media, marketing campaigns, and playlist pitching, leading to increased streams and audience engagement.


Understanding the revenue models and complexities of music streaming in India is crucial for artists to navigate the digital landscape and gain fair compensation for their work. Partnering with a trusted music distributor like ForeVision Digital can empower artists to overcome challenges, reach wider audiences, and maximize their earnings in the ever-evolving world of music streaming. Let the melody of your music reach its full potential – contact ForeVision Digital today!