Music streaming has become by far and away the most popular avenue for people to consume music legally.

There are of course still album sales whether that be physical or digital releases but during the first half of 2019 in the US, streaming accounted for 80 percent of the revenue from the industry.

While this sounds like good news it isn’t really. Getting an exact figure is tough but various reports, including this one from Soundcharts, allege that streaming services only pay $0.01 or less per stream.

It’s vital then, given how potentially low those revenues are, that artists know how much they are earned and more importantly, are able to get their hands on their earnings.

The African arm of Sony Music Entertainment has today informed us of two new features which have been added to the Sony Music Artist Portal. These are Real Time Earnings and Cash Out.

Thankfully the names of those features are pretty self-explanatory.

Real Time Earnings gives artists the ability to see global earnings, account balances and insight into their earning trends.

The real stand out feature however is Cash Out.

“The Cash Out element gives artists even greater control over their money by providing them with the ability to request a withdrawal of all, or part, of their payable balance, and there are no hidden fees or charges that are incurred when doing so,” Sony Music Entertainment Africa explained in a press release.

It’s a clever idea that we’ve seen before with local startup, Paymenow, though this solution from Sony is not related in any way and is seemingly exclusively for musicians.

Give the current situation the world faces, this sort of feature should be welcomed by musicians.

But Sony Music Entertainment Africa appears to be looking to make the feature a permanent fixture even post-pandemic.

“The high level of transparency and efficiency in these tools is aimed at making doing business between us clearer, faster, simpler and more direct for our artists and partners and it comes at a time when we all need as much of that as we can get,” explains managing director at the label, Sean Watson.

The Sony Music Artist Portal also gives musicians data and insights from the likes of Apple Music and Spotify so they can gain a better understanding of their audiences.

Now if we could just look at getting those per stream earnings up somehow.

[Image – CC 0 Pixabay]