While the music world has shown some skepticism towards streaming services such as Spotify, Apple’s iTunes Match may be getting a much warmer reception, Ars Technica reports. So how is Apple’s cloud-based service any different from its competitors and why does it please musicians?

The independent music distribution service TuneCore summarized it very well in a blog post. According to its CEO, Jeff Price, the first royalties he just received from iTunes Match ($10,000 for two months) are “magic money that Apple made exist out of thin air for copyright holders.”

What he means by that is that iTunes Match created a whole new revenue stream for artists. Think about it: with this new service, artists get paid every time a user plays a song, even if that person already owns said song – no matter if they bought it or downloaded it illegally.

In other words, Apple managed to monetize an existing behavior – listening to music – thanks to annual subscriptions, which are now available in several countries.

Although none of the involved parties has disclosed the exact amount a copyright holder will receive for each stream, such additional revenue sources are certainly quite exciting for the ailing music industry.