How much does Spotify pay artists? It’s the biggest mystery in music. One independent artist claims to have received a measly $0.004 per stream. There was a rumor that Lady Gaga only earned $162 from a million streams. Even indie band Grizzly Bear chimed in to express their displeasure with the alleged slave wages of Spotify declaring that they only received $0.001 per stream. Some have even taken to restricting their music from the service altogether. Is it really that bad? are the payments that low?
In an interview with Hypebot D.A. Wallach, lead vocalist & songwriter in Chester French who works with Spotify as their “Artist in Residence.”, had this to say:
…We make money in two ways. We make money through advertising to free users, who have access to Spotify only on computer. The service is interrupted by ads, and the functionality is a lot like YouTube. There is no mobile option for free ad-supported users, either. Second, we generate revenue from selling subscriptions. In the U.S., a subscription is $120 a year. In the U.K. it is ₤120 a year, and in the E.U, it is €120 a year.
We aggregate all of this revenue from these two streams, and distribute back 70% in royalties based on a pro rata share in accordance with the popularity of a piece of music. For example, if one of your songs has been streamed 1% of the total number of streams in a month, you will get 1% of the 70% of royalties we pay out to rights holders.
According to D.A Wallach in order for anyone to calculate what artists earn from Spotify, in say a month, a few numbers are needed.
Spotify’s revenue for the month
Amount of dollars Spotify pays out to rights holders
Combined number of streams
Their number of streams
Percentage of overall streams a song accounts for
Being that Spotify is a private company, we don’t have access to their revenue figures so here’s my hypothetical scenario based on real numbers that Spotify has released to the public. According to PrivCo, in 2011 Spotify generated 244 million dollars in revenue. In 2011 Spotify released U.S figures that showed there were over 13 billion songs streamed on Spotify in that year. 13 billion songs streamed doesn’t tell us how many times those 13 billion songs were streamed respectively but we’ll use that number being that that’s all we have.
$244, 000, 000/ 12 = $20,333,333 per month (Revenue for the month)
70% of 20,333,333 = $14,233,333.1 (Amount of dollars Spotify pays out to rights holders)
13,000,000,000/ 12 = 1,083,333,333.333333 per month (combined number of monthly streams)
20 streams X 100/ 1,083,333,333.333333 = 0.00000184615% (artist’s percentage of monthly streams)
0.00000184615% X 14,233,333.1 = 0.26276867902 (artist’s royalties)
0.26276867902/ 20 = $0.01313843395 (artist’s per stream royalties)
So, if an artist on Spotify received 20 streams out of 13 billion and Spotify grossed 244 million dollars, that artist would have earned a little over a penny per stream. It’s pretty safe to assume that the 13 billion songs streamed were listened to more than once and the higher the amount of total streams, the lower the amount of per stream payout for each artist. At the same time, the higher the amount of revenue generated by Spotify, the higher the amount of per stream payout per artist. In addition, Spotify doesn’t accept music submissions directly from artists. As a result artists must submit through digital distribution companies like ONErpm, CdBaby and Tunecore.
Some of these distributors charge up to 15% of sales, from what I’ve seen, and have arranged their own rates with Spotify so what an artist can earn through them varies. For instance, from music I’ve released through CDBaby on average I see $0.004 per stream after their 15% deduction. With music I’ve released through a relatively new company called ONErpm, I receive $0.007 per stream after their 15% deduction. Artists signed to a label may have arrangements that are far less favorable. Aside from the digital distribution and label fees that are deducted from your per stream payout, a 10.2% publishing fee is deducted as well. What happens to that money? Well, I’ll save that for another post.
Source: Music Think Tank (by SF)
Winter Music Conference is a weeklong electronic music conference and festival, held every March in Miami. DJs, promoters and fans from around the world make the trip each year to see EDM’s biggest and emerging talent.
We caught up with Sariah, who’s latest single “Kill The Lights,” is igniting dance floors and one of our “must see” artists for this year.
1) You recently released the new, infectious dance track, “Kill The Lights.” How would you say your sound has developed? Give us an insight into your writing process.
I love that word, “infectious!” Beginning with the writing process, I have grown so much as a singer, actress, friend, daughter, and lover that I really feel it all connects with my music. I really wanted a POWER house record. I wanted something that would make my audience feel alive, sexy, courageous, and unique! This track, “Kill The Lights” did that for me the second I began working on it with Marisol Credle and DJ Cova. My sound has developed into more than just a dance track and I want it to become an anthem heard around the world!
2) Many argue that in today’s music industry, it’s better to release fewer tracks more frequently. What are your thoughts on this? Also, I’m sure I speak for a great deal of your fans when asking if there are plans for a full album of tracks?
I really feel that it is important to constantly be working on the next. I love my producer, DJ Cova, because he always teaches me that it’s about your next song. Keep pushing forward and creating because that is how you grow and continue to find yourself as an artist. It is important to focus on each track you release and give it its journey for your fans, the crowd, the DJ’s and radio. But, I honestly feel there are no more rules! Artists should do what they want to and release however many songs they feel is great for them. I’ve been exploring into film and theater which is constantly inspiring me to write new music!
3) I’ve noticed you’ve been receiving quite a bit of press in Miami surrounding WMC (Winter Music Conference). Can you tell us a little about the festival and your previous experiences performing there?
I always have a wonderful time at WMC! My first year was the best because I met SO many DJ’s and producers from around the world. That’s why I love it so much. Then, each year I am able to catch up with them and meet more people they are connected to. I met Jellybean Benitez who produced many of Madonna’s early tracks, David Guetta and many more! This year should be a great time as well. I look forward to “Kill The Lights” being a part of the Promo Only record passed out this year, too!
4) Rumor has it, “Kill The Lights” will be debuted live at WMC. When and where can fans catch a live performance?
Your rumor is true :) I will be performing at The Palace on March 24th and a few others! Please check out my Facebook page for all of the events I will be performing at LIVE! www.Facebook.com/Sariah
5) Final question, is it really “All About Sex”? :)
Isn’t it?! :)
For this week’s installment of our artist interview series 5Q, we sat down with LA’s sultry, dance-pop princess, Emii! From her collaboration with rap icon, Snoop Dogg, to her multi-million view music videos on YouTube, Emii is quickly rising up through the ranks to the top of the dance charts. As her latest single, “Time To Move On,” makes the rounds on MTV and major press outlets, expect big things in 2013 from Emii.
1) For anyone just discovering your music, how would you describe your overall sound?
An upbeat blend of soulful pop/dance!
2) Your new single, “Time To Move On” (released today), has been described as a “sugary-sweet, synthed-out pop tune.” What was the inspiration for this track? Take us through your approach to songwriting.
Sometimes we all need a little push to move on from the bad situations we get stuck in. I was inspired by my own past experiences as well as the experiences of close friends, so I had to get the message out through my music. Never settle for less than you deserve!
3) On your previous record, Snoop Dogg (aka Snoop Lion) made a cameo appearance in the song and music video for “Mr. Romeo.” What was it like working with such a legendary music icon?
Snoop was amazing to work with and he’s definitely one of the coolest cats in the music biz. I’m incredibly thankful for that experience and I look forward to future collaborations.
4) Your song “Time To Move On” just premiered on MTV. That’s got to be pretty exciting! How has this exposure impacted your music career?
I AM excited! It was incredible exposure for the new single and it’s definitely the best way to kick off the new release. I have a lot of great things in the works and I can’t wait to share them with everyone!
5) Last question, will you be touring any time in the near future and if so, where will fans be able to catch a glimpse of your live performance?
Absolutely! I am working on the details now, but NYC is looking like my first stop on the list. Check Emii.net for updates as my team will be posting events soon!
Freemium continues to be a popular weapon in the music streaming wars, and today Rdio launched free streams for 6 months in 15 of the 17 countries in which it’s available. The markets include the United States (where it’s been free since Oct 2011), United Kingdom, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Spain, and Sweden.
Rdio is not offering the 6 month free in Germany or Brazil. In the other markets new listeners can sign up and activate free streaming with no credit card required. The free offering does not include mobile apps.
Launched in August 2010, Rdio is headquartered in San Francisco and was founded by Janus Friis, the co-creator of Skype. Rdio is funded by Janus Friis through his investment entities, Atomico, and Skype.
Get your music on Rdio, Grooveshark and YouTube for free on ONErpm!
NEWS: Why Combining Rdio and ONErpm is the Best of Both Worlds
If you didn’t already know, we’ve been changing up our platform a little bit and more is to come. We’re now making it completely free to upload your music to Rdio if you only follow us on Twitter, but that’s not the big news this morning.
Rdio, itself, has announced its new Artist Program that essentially pays bands $10 every time they bring in a new Rdio subscriber. Now, if you do the math, that’s $10 per subscriber and all the royalty money you make off the site with your music. When you add ONErpm’s free distribution to Rdio, it’s a dream scenario for musicians.
Follow us on Twitter and get started today.
Let the good times roll. We’re back with our popular series “On the Line” with a fun upbeat band from Miami, Beach called Ex Norwegian. They’re sharing the new single of the new EP. It’s our first phone call from South Beach!
Download the EP, Something Unreal: http://goo.gl/jLAff
ONErpm City: Bogota, Columbia