Music Royalties

How Much Does Instagram Pay For Music Royalties?

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How Much Does Instagram Pay For Music Royalties? Spoiler – It’s not a lot…

A handful of music distribution platforms now allow musicians to release their music directly to Instagram and Facebook. It’s great that there is now yet another avenue for artists to monetize their music, but if you are hoping for a big pay check when your song blows up on Instagram, you may be left a little disappointed.

Instagram Reels, launched roughly 2 years ago, in August 2020, as a way for Instagram to compete with the new-found competition from TikTok. It would be an understatement to say that when TikTok blew up, Instagram was knocked for six. For those few who haven’t used Instagram Reels before, it’s effectively a clone of TikTok, if we’re being honest.

How is Music Monetized on Instagram?

Instagram, parent company META, lets users put music in their content. It’s the same with Facebook, also owned by META.

In some instances, which are a bit too specific to go into complete detail, the music used in content can earn royalties. For example, Instagram stories and reels allow for users to add music from the audio library.

It’s hard to find specific information from META about where this royalty money actually comes from, but my assumption would be that a small cut of the earnings from Instagram advertising is likely used.

This Instagram Reel uses a song by Dorian Marko in the background

As you can see above, this video is pretty popular. It’s been viewed over 14 million times. So how much has Dorian Marko been paid for the use of his song?

Instagram Music Royalties – How Much Does 1 Million Views Earn?

Instagram / Facebook Royalties -How much Instagram Pays

As you can see above, I’ve narrowed it down to one of my songs in one month, to make it easier to see. In total in May 2021, content with this particular song were viewed a total of 1,269,412 times. And what did I earn for nearly 1.3 million views? 39 cents.

Based on this data, if your song is used in an Instagram reel that has 1 million views, you would earn about 30 cents. Nice.

On a bigger scale, the total royalties I received from Instagram / Facebook, for this particular song, is $27 for 6,179,832 plays, which tells a slightly different story. Based on this data, 1 million views would get you about $4.36.

I’ve created a helpful little chart below to help put this Instagram Royalty Data into perspective. Remember, this is based on my data only, it may vary a bit between artists. Who knows, you might even manage to earn 5 cents for 10,000 plays!

Number of StreamsItemDollar Value
100,000Cheap Energy Drink$0.4369
1,000,000Big Mac and Change$4.369
10,000,000A Cheap Dinner Date$43.69
100,000,000A Dell Laptop$436.90
1,000,000,000Rent in a 1 Bedroom Manhattan Apartment (if you’re lucky)$4369.00
15,454,566,260Median US Salary (2020)$67,521
How Many Plays on Instagram you need

So there you have it. To make a full time income purely from Instagram Reels, you will likely need about 15 billion views per year. Of course in reality, if your song has been listened to 15 billion times then you will be making more than enough from other revenue streams like Spotify, Apple Music and (probably) touring.

If you want to learn how you can get your music out on all major digital platforms, check this article out.


Instagram doesn’t pay a particularly handsome sum of money when your song is used, but it’s definitely still worth getting your music up on Facebook/Instagram if you can. If you are looking for a music distribution company that offers this, give DistroKid a try. (PS. You get 7% off when using my link 😉 ).

Don’t get me wrong, despite how little the direct earnings are, the indirect earning potential can no doubt be pretty huge. That song I based this article on has been heard by millions more people, and at least a few thousand of them at minimum will have become YouTube subscribers or Spotify followers.

Remember, as much as pure royalties might be your end goal to help boost your music career, a view is a view. The more eyeballs (or eardrums, more accurately) that your music gets, the better your chances are of success in the long run. In my opinion songs integrated into reels are fantastic promotion. It works much, much better than the annoying social media spam most artists do. Just posting the same snippet of the same song for weeks on end isn’t going to get you more fans, in fact it’s likely to do the opposite.