There’s no arguing that Spotify changed how we listen to music and how artists release their art. But while Spotify gives musicians a platform to release their music to a broader audience, there’s some debate about whether Spotify pays artists enough.
Whether you’re checking if your favorite musician is adequately compensated for their art or you’re a musician yourself looking to release music on the platform, it’s important to learn how much artists make on Spotify. That said, actually finding information about the exact amounts artists make on the platform is no easy task.
Not all artists release the amount Spotify pays them and Spotify does the same. But we’ve done extensive research to get a ballpark figure for how much artists can make on Spotify. And in this article, we’ll explain all of that to you.
How Much Do Artists Make on Spotify?
Let’s start by saying that not all artists make the same amount on Spotify. There are some artists that get paid decent sums of money by Spotify, while there are others that barely earn on the platform. This is primarily because the amount of money you earn on the platform largely depends on the number of streams you get.
So, artists like Drake, Taylor Swift, and musicians of a similar caliber make a fair amount on the platform due to the high number of streams they get on their songs. Drake for example is reported to have made over $50 million from Spotify, and Ed Sheeran over $6.5 million just from the one song he released, called Shape of You.
So, as you can see, there is a lot of money to be made if you’re a top artist. However, there’s a decent chance that your local indie artists who don’t get as many streams aren’t earning as much.
There are millions of artists on the Spotify platform. So, it’s impossible to get an accurate average of how much they earn. However, if you plan on posting music on the platform, just know that you can earn more money on Spotify the more streams you get.
Instead of averaging out how much artists make on Spotify, finding out how much the platform pays per stream would be a much more helpful metric, so let’s take a look at that in the next section.
How Much Does Spotify Pay Per Stream?
Finding the exact amount Spotify pays per stream isn’t an easy task either. This is because Spotify hasn’t released any data on the topic and the same goes for many artists. On top of that, there are many factors that may affect how much money you get per stream on Spotify.
But based on figures from North America, we were able to estimate that Spotify pays between $0.003-$0.005 per stream. This is not a lot of money and only turns into a substantial amount if your songs are garnering millions of streams. This is why many modern artists don’t rely solely on royalties to make a living through their art.
And while you can use the number above as a benchmark for estimating how much your Spotify payouts will be, take our information with a grain of salt. As we mentioned earlier, the exact amount Spotify pays per stream varies depending on various factors. So, to help you get a better idea of how much money you can earn on Spotify, we’ll dive into the details in the next section.
Read more: How Much Does Spotify Pay Per Stream?
Factors That Affect How Much You Get Paid by Spotify
Estimating how much Spotify will pay for your royalties is tough. Every artist gets a different amount from Spotify and their rate per stream isn’t constant. So, here are some of the main factors that can affect how much Spotify pays you for your songs.
Number of Streams
The biggest factor that affects your Spotify royalties is the number of streams you get on the platform. Nowadays, royalties barely come from physical albums and single sales. Instead, they come in the form of streaming royalties from platforms like Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube Music, and more.
So, if you’re looking to make Spotify an additional source of income for yourself, you really need to work hard and release songs people want to listen to time and time again, as well as understand the Spotify algorithm and how to make the most of it.
Another major factor affecting the amount artists make on Spotify is their region. Since different regions worldwide charge different rates for Spotify Premium, the royalties vary per region as well. Generally, western regions like North America and Europe pay out higher royalties due to higher premium fees. On the flip side, in countries in South East Asia, where the premium fees are lower, artists don’t get paid as much from listeners from that side of the world.
Who Listens to the Music
There are two types of Spotify users – free and premium users. As you probably know, premium users are the ones that pay a monthly fee for Spotify’s premium services. Since free users don’t bring in as much money to the platform, Spotify pays out more royalties if more premium accounts stream your music.
The last factor that has a major effect on how much money you earn on Spotify is how you distribute your music. For example, if you’re signed to a music label, they are your distributor. When artists sign with a label, they likely sign an agreement that states that the label gets a certain percentage of their streaming royalties. And while some labels only ask for 5%-10%, there are other labels that get as much as a 90% cut from the royalties of the creator.
Even if you release your music without a label, you might have to pay royalties to your distributing service. There are some websites right now that will upload your music to Spotify for you free of charge and the only catch is that you’ll have to give them a small cut of your royalties.
Nowadays, the artists’ distributor is probably the second-most important factor that determines how much you earn on Spotify. So, before signing a deal with a label or distributor, make sure to read through the contract properly to understand how much of your royalties they will get.
How to Get More Royalties from Spotify
If you plan on making music your primary source of income, it’s important to find ways to get more royalties from Spotify. Doing so isn’t easy, but here are some of the tips we can give you to help you bring in more money from Spotify.
Release More Music
Firstly, releasing more music is a great way to increase the amount of money you earn on Spotify. It’s great to have multiple tracks on your profile as soon as possible. That way, anyone who discovers one of your songs has more tracks to listen to, adding to your streams.
The more music you have on Spotify, the more streams you can get. That said, make sure not to skimp on quality. While it’s important to have options for your listeners, this shouldn’t come at the cost of your musical identity.
Focus on Marketing
Nowadays, artists can’t just release music and expect to earn money. While you might not notice it, artists put a lot of effort into marketing their music. At times, they might put more effort into marketing than the music itself. This is because a good marketing campaign is the best way to raise streaming numbers.
There are many ways to market your music. You can opt to do live performances to expose your music to a new audience, try to get on the radio, market your music through social media, or even host events that use your music. Choosing the right marketing method largely depends on your artist’s image and how you want your music to grow.
And while artists can market music any way they want, it’s important to build marketing campaigns that work for your brand so that you attract an audience that will listen to music and boost your streaming numbers
Release Your Music Independently
Nowadays, you don’t need a record label to make music. There are many ways to make music at home with minimal equipment and even upload it to Spotify without a label at all. If you remove the label from the equation, you can rest assured that you get 100% of the royalties that your music generates.
That said, keep in mind that releasing music and marketing yourself is much harder when you release music independently. The trade-off for this is that you get complete artistic freedom and keep all the royalties for yourself.
Generally, artists make between $0.003-$0.005 per stream on Spotify. For most people, this is not enough to sustain themselves unless they garner millions of streams a month. So, if you plan on releasing music on the platform, try to look for ways to maximize your streams and make sure you get to keep as much of the royalties as possible.
You can read additional Spotify articles here.