Music Industry

Spotify has released some new payout information for artists. These are some big numbers.

Spotify has just updated its Loud&Clear website, the spot where the company offers all sorts of details regarding the money they pay out to artists.

But before we get into the numbers, remember that (a) the amount of money that makes it to the artist/rightsholders depends on the deal they have with their record label or distributor, and (b) Spotify believes that it is responsible for 25% of all global music revenue. The company says that we multiply each payout figure by four to reach an estimate of an artist’s total payout. The example given by Music Ally is that if an artist generates $10,000 from streaming on Spotify, then that artist could be generating $40,000 from all services and stores.

Ready? Here we go.

  • 66,000 artists generated more than US$10,000 in Spotify payouts in 2023. That’s up from 57,000 in 2022.
  • 11,600 artists generated more than US$100,000 in payouts. That’s up from just 4,300 in 2017.
  • 1,250 artists generated more than US$1 million from Spotify

What about US$10 million? There were sixty of those artists in 2023. The majority of them began their careers prior to 2010 and therefore are heritage artists with a sizeable long-term following. They probably have 4-5 million monthly listeners and somewhere between 20-25 million monthly streams.

It’s also interesting to note that only 20% artists in the US$10 million tier had a track appear in the Spotify Top 50. The other 80%–about 1,000 of them–are artists making big money off their catalogue.

Here are a few more stats:

  • Half of the 66,000 artists generating more than US$10,000 sing in a language other than English. Much of the growth goes to Latin and K-pop acts.
  • There were big upticks in the popularity of songs in Hindi, Indonesian, Punjabi, Tamil, and Greek.
  • More than 10 million people have uploaded at least one track to Spotify. Eight million have fewer than ten tracks available.
  • Five million artists have fewer than 100 streams across all their songs.
  • However, as time passes, many new artists do see their payouts increase. As Spotify puts it, “Four out of five artists who generated at least $10,000+ in 2017, generated at least that much this past year…Of the 23,400 artists who generated $10,000 in 2017, nearly half generated more than $50,000 in 2023 and likely $200,000 overall across all recorded revenue sources.”
  • Plus Spotify says the 50,000th most popular artist on Spotify last year generated $16,500 in payouts, which is “nearly 6X what the 50,000th artist generated in 2017.”
  • How much competition is out there for artists? Not as much as you might think.

More more analysis, go here and 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.

Alan Cross has 38553 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

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