What a stream is and how it is calculated
A stream is when someone listens to your song or music video via a streaming music service application, but does not own or permanently download the content. Some digital services allow users to listen to music as part of a subscription model, paying a monthly fee for access. Some subscription models allow customers to listen to streaming music whenever they want while they are connected to the Internet. The ability to listen to any music that the user wants at any time is referred to as interactive streaming. Upgrading from free to premium subscription users are allowed to download music files on their computer or mobile device as long as their subscription is up to date. In practice, it's as if your fans joined a service that would allow them to rent your music. As soon as they stop paying the monthly registration fee, they will no longer have access to listen to your music.
How do I get paid for the streams?
The types of royalties generated on each stream depend on the type of stream itself. Each interactive streaming service requires payment of master's royalty and copyright. Most interactive or on-demand services pay royalties based on a percentage of their revenue (subscription, advertising or sometimes a combination of both). When you're paid for interactive streaming, you typically receive only master fees. Streaming services pay for copyrights separately.