Deezer Royalties for Artists

November 16, 2023

In 2023, Deezer, one of the most popular music streaming services, sent a press release covering their plans to ensure they had a better payment model for all artists.

But is it fairer? And where does Deezer stand regarding how much they pay artists on the platform?

How much is Deezer currently paying artists?

Trying to determine how much music streaming platforms pay can feel like black magic. Many new artists are confused by the payments and feel they aren’t getting paid enough for their music.

In a press release issued in March 2023, they outlined their plans to implement a ‘model that is fairer for artists’ - but what does that really mean?

The payment model used since 2009 meant that revenue was distributed based on streaming ranks - the more you are played, the more you get paid. For smaller artists, this meant that the revenue they would see could be tiny.

The question was posed - is this fair? And the answer is a resounding no.

How it works: Subscribers pay their fees, which are used to pay the artists' revenue. This sounds fine, but if you pay your subscription fee and are a massive fan of a small band, most of your fees go to bigger artists that you might not even listen to, and not to the smaller bands you play regularly.

In short small artists were in a competition with big artists, and they weren't going to win.

So indie and smaller artists see less of their own fans' revenue.

Enter - ACPS. As Deezer puts it, the ACPS, or Artist Centric Payment System, is fairer to smaller artists. Artists will be compensated based on the value that is given to the user - so artists who offer engaging content will see a higher payment.

And, to prevent fake artists and streaming fraud, certain things will be demonetized. So, as a fan, if you actively search for your favorite bands, they will be compensated accordingly - Deezer coined this a User-Centric Payment System.

The combination of UCPS and ACPS will see an increase in payments for smaller artists. And will stop things like ‘white noise for sleep’ from getting paid the same per play as big artists like Beyonce or Harry Styles. And it would see smaller artists get paid better, too.

How much more could artists be paid with the new Deezer payment model?

Along with the two new payment systems coming into play, a weight will also be added to a search for artists or songs; meaning that when fans search for a song, it will carry a x4 payment.

The new model was set to roll out in France in October, with other countries following in the coming months, and it has been estimated that it will be up to 10% more in terms of revenue for artists.

“After extensive engagement with Deezer throughout 2023, we are very proud to be pioneers in France in the highly anticipated rollout of their version of the Artist-Centric model. This comprehensive initiative will much more effectively value fan engagement and active streaming of music created by artists.” - Olivier Nusse, CEO of Universal Music France

Why was the old revenue model used in the first place?

In 2009, streaming platforms simply had no means to do it any other way, nor were the tracking metrics available.

Since then, the tech has improved, and that means that streaming services like Deezer - in partnership with Universal Music Group - are in a position to implement a fairer payment system.

Deezer Royalties Calculator Vs. Spotify Royalties Calculator

Although there are plenty of figures all over the internet, the actual figure still varies wildly. Not only does the payment change from streaming service to streaming service - one of the most common questions artists have is how much Spotify pay their artists; but artists on the same platform will get paid differently too.

And, there are a lot of factors that come into play, here are just three:

  • Is the listener a subscriber, or are they using a free account?
  • How many streams are other artists getting across Deezer or Spotify?
  • Amount of streams across the service as a whole?
  • Where is the listener listening from?

So, while ideally, you’d get paid based on your own streams, the other artists' streams will make an impact too.

Let’s look at some figures that are subject to change based on the above factors and currency.


*figures from Ditto & Routenote.

When it comes to royalties, the current system, and the future one - with the fairer payment system that Deezer is working towards, Deezer comes out on top when pitched against Spotify.

But does that mean as a smaller artist, you should focus your efforts on a single platform that pays higher?

No, it is still more beneficial for indie artists to put their music across multiple platforms - and with the changes to the Deezer payment - that one could be a good place to promote to your fans to hit the play button.

Check out what each platform could pay for 1000 plays with our Spotify Royalties Calculator, so you know where for focus your marketing efforts, and which platform your fans should be listening on.

Get that playlist back!

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With the FreeYourMusic app, you can transfer your playlists from any music streaming platform to the one you want to use.

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