How Spotify pays its artists is one of the platform’s great mysteries. We unveil it for you.
Streaming music platforms have become one of the most popular ways to consume our favorite songs. But, although we know that in this way we contribute to that consumption is completely legal, most users do not know how Spotify pays the artists.
After all, a Spotify subscription is much cheaper than buying dozens of albums. It is therefore natural to wonder how that is sustainable with artists getting paid for their work.
The reality is that Spotify does not directly pay artists for their work. In order to publish on the platform, musicians need the services of a distributor, which is responsible for managing the payments. The platform transfers the payment to the distributor about 3-4 months after the plays have been produced. And from then on it is this company that is in charge of paying its artists.
It should be noted that distributors usually charge a commission for the service. Therefore, not all artists will be paid exactly the same even if they have had the same number of reproductions. The full payment that will reach the musicians will depend largely on the agreement you have with your distributor.
However, it is recommended that musicians have a Spotify for Artists account. In this way, they will be able to keep a more exhaustive control of the number of plays that have been achieved. So you can really know how much you should earn, thus avoiding abuses by large companies that suffer especially artists who are starting out.
How much you earn on Spotify per monthly listeners
Knowing how much is earned on Spotify per monthly listener may seem interesting. But the reality is that the number of individual people who listen to us has no relation to the amount of money we will get on the platform.
The only thing that is taken into account when calculating how Spotify pays artists is the number of plays. It doesn’t matter if there are 10 people listening to your music or one person listening to your song 10 times. However, for Spotify’s purposes, plays that are not held for at least 30 seconds do not count as plays.
Calculating exactly how much is earned per play is complicated. The fact is that the platform does not pay the same for listens from users of Free accounts as from Premium accounts, in addition to the aforementioned agreements between artists and record labels.
Approximately, we could say that Spotify pays about 0.0049 USD per playback. This means that we would have to get nearly 250 plays to earn one dollar on the platform. And to get a figure equivalent to the minimum wage would require 225,000 monthly reproductions. Therefore, if it is not complemented with concerts, it does not seem a very profitable business.
Obviously, big stars like Billie Eilish or Lady Gaga do earn quite important figures thanks to Spotify. But for an emerging artist who doesn’t have much of an audience, the platform is more a way to publicize their songs and then sell tickets than a livelihood in itself.