Some interesting stats about how much money artists have made from Spotify

Yes, we’ve all heard the complaints that Spotify doesn’t pay out enough for artists–and there’s some merit to that argument–but many of those complaining just don’t understand how this new economy works. They don’t do that math. A million streams sounds like a lot, but that’s NOTHING in the streaming world. And for the love of all that is holy, you cannot equate “streams” with “sales.” It’s a complete apples-and-oranges situation.

Rant done. Let’s move to these new stats from Music Business Worldwide. They ask “How many artists are earning enough to live from Spotify and other streaming services?” That depends on who you ask and what kind of numbers to which you have access.

A site called Loud&Clear has published these stats.

  • In the last year, Spotify paid out US$7 billion for publishing and recorded music rightsholders. That’s up from US$3.3 billion in 2017
  • 52,600 artists generated over US$10,000 in revenue in 2021.
  • 15,140 of them uploaded their own music

Let’s break that down even more.

  • $10,000 – $49,999: 36,100 artists
  • $50,000 – $99,999: 7,000 artists
  • $100,000 – $499,999: 7,330 artists
  • $500,000 – $999,999: 1,130 artists
  • $1,000,000 – $1,999,999: 590 artists
  • $2,000,000 – $4,999,999: 320 artists
  • $5m and above: 130 artists

Those numbers are up across the board from years past. Read more here. More analysis can be found here, too. And also here.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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