Music Business

How Much Does Spotify Pay Per Stream?

Photograph of the blog post author, Georgia Carter

Georgia Carter

28.7.2022

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So you have uploaded your songs to Spotify but you’re not too sure how much money each stream of your song makes you. How much does Spotify pay artists who choose to have their songs on the platform and is it worth having your music on there? And why is Spotify a popular choice with musicians?  How can you make the most of the platform and how can you earn more money from streaming on Spotify? Read on for more answers. 

How Much Does Spotify Pay Musicians Per Stream?

Royalties are the revenue you make as an artist from someone streaming your music. And as of May 2022, Spotify pays artists between $0.003 – $0.005 per stream on average. So this works out at 70% to the artist and 30% to Spotify in terms of revenue. 

In addition, the Spotify payment per stream process – your revenue – does depend on a few factors, which are; 

– Spotify’s streaming revenue total

– The negotiated global payout as a percentage of that revenue

– The total number of streams on Spotify 

– The total number of your streams from your music on Spotify 

If you are wondering how much do artists make on Spotify, well I suppose it depends on the artist you are and how large your audience is. Harry Styles for instance or The Rolling Stones may get a hefty amount of royalties since they are popular musicians. But for more independent artists, or those who are starting you in the world of DSPs, then it is a great start. The music industry is fully digital, so as an artist, you have to be able to work with DSPs to ensure your music gets heard by as many people as possible. 

What Effects Spotify Artist Payment? 

Remember when looking into how much Spotify pays per stream, it will also be contingent on the following factors – your music distributor/label, where your listeners are based in the world and what type of plan your listeners have on Spotify. All of these elements will determine how much revenue you will receive. 

  • Usually the revenue does not get paid out directly to the artist, but it can include any of the following – record labels, artists, distributors or other agencies. And in some cases, labels may then even take 50% of the revenue, and then there are other costs such as potential distributors, and publishers. So to make enough money for an artist – remember there are roughly 8 million artists on Spotify – you need to be in the top 9000 artists out of 8 million. In an article in 2021 from Loud & Clear, they suggested if you have 750,000 monthly listeners, that would place you in the top 9000 artists on Spotify, and it would generate roughly $100k. This may not be achievable for independent artists, however once you build up an engaging audience, then you will be seeing an increase of streams of your music I assure you. There are also companies which work in your favor, which offer a 0% commission rate basis, whereby you keep 100% of your royalties. Companies such as Ditto Music do this. 
  • Where your fanbase is listening to your music from makes a difference. As Spotify will not charge the same amount per stream if you live in say Canada – $0.0027 compared to  Portugal where they pay $0.0018.
  • The type of plan your listeners have chosen to listen to their music on Spotify will have an impact on the royalty revenue, as the Premium plan – at $9.99/£9.99 per month – compared to the free one does bring in more money. Therefore when a paying subscriber streams your music, then this will create a higher Spotify payout per stream.  

In the same article by Loud & Clear, they do suggest that there are two types of artist on Spotify who generate revenue. 

Firstly, you have those who are consistently releasing music and are within the top 50,000 artists for three years running and generate roughly $94k per year. They will roughly have about 600k listeners and then you have the other type of artists. They are going to fall under the more niche genre type. For example, 90% of their music will be soundtrack, easy listening, religious, children’s music or classical music. They will make roughly $36,900 per year and have 214k monthly listeners. 

It is interesting to know that as of 2021, Spotify claims it paid $7 billion in royalties to artists. So the Spotify stream pay seems like it was benefiting a lot of musicians. 

According to Forbes, over 1,000 artists made more than $1 million through royalty payments on its platform.  

Other Digital Streaming Platforms To Look At 

So there are other platforms you can try out there for streaming your music. 

1. Tidal

2. Deezer

3. iHeartRadio

4. YouTube Music

5. Pandora

6. LiveXLive

7. Apple Music

8. Amazon Music

9. Quobuz

Streaming services have become much better in quality and without one, it is harder to get your music played, other than on the radio. As of June this year, streaming accounts for 83% of the UK music consumption. That is a staggering amount and of course with everybody having a phone in our hands most of the time, it is easy to see why people choose to listen to music in this way. It can be a sociable way of listening to music as you can create your own playlists, or any of the streaming services can create playlists for you using clever algorithms. It is the easy way to play music amongst friends and it is here to stay. 

Of course this has changed how artists get paid and it is a valuable question to ask, which is the best streaming service for revenue? 

Well it has be said that Spotify does come out on top, compared to its other competitors, however Quobuz is a strong second. Certainly in the way that they treat their rights holders during the pandemic. They donated 100% of all new first month subscriber revenues to rights holders. Georges Fornay, CEO Deputy, said that “We believe in respecting the artists’ work by ensuring the quality we provide is as true to the original as possible. This is why we promote studio-quality music. We believe talented artists should get a fair chance for their music to be discovered with music curation and fair compensation.” This is a very worthy recognition to their artists and it seems musicians have their full support. In relation to how much per stream on Spotify’s platform compared to Quobuz, Quobuz pays $0.04390, which is roughly the same. 

There is a lot of competition now for the best streaming services for artists, and in terms of Spotify money per stream, can it keep up and does it have what it takes? 

Outlook 

So music streaming platforms are the way to get fans to listen to your music, but maybe certainly for independent artists, it is not always going to be the most lucrative way of earning money. Currently, artists do not have the power over negotiations for payments on streaming services, so maybe this needs to be fine tuned a fair amount. So that said, remember to choose a music label that will work in your best interests, and be pragmatic and realistic about how you approach them. As long as you get your music on a streaming service like Spotify, people will listen to your music. You could even be playing at Wembley or Glastonbury soon. streaming your music online, and know that at the beginning of the process, you may not make much money. But you love what you do, so it’s a great start. 

If you’re looking to learn more about Music, check out our other blog posts! We also have guides to help you understand Music Royalties, Music Licensing, and how to get started when it comes to selling your music online.

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