This is what Spotify pays artists

Spotify prefers to break down payouts in terms of monthly activity. In July, a “niche indie album” garnered $3,300, whereas a “global hit album” awarded the unnamed artist $425,000. Based on the company’s projections, these numbers will increase exponentially as the subscriber base grows.

I have to admit, this is pretty good. I’ve been vocal about subscription services and making sure artists get paid, so these numbers are interesting. One question I do have—for Spotify or the artists—why is there such a difference between these numbers and the reported “$10 for a million plays” type of stories that were making the rounds.



  • rattyuk

    “One question I do have—for Spotify or the artists—why is there such a difference between these numbers and the reported “$10 for a million plays” type of stories that were making the rounds.”

    Could it simply be that this is just spin from Spotify?

  • richardmac

    Jim, I’m an indie artist with music on iTunes, Rhapsody, Spotify, etc. The rates that Spotify pays vary, because they’re based on some top secret formula. But for me it works out to about 8/10 of a penny per play. However, I think big name artists get a slightly higher rate. I will email you some example numbers, Jim, but essentially Spotify is one of the higher paying streaming companies.

  • Mikey

    Someone once said this about Macs: They are built to last about 3 years; those that last shorter or longer become famous on the Internet. Both ends of your example are anecdotal data, which is great for making a point, but of little use when trying to understand how something works. If Spotify or any of it’s competitors were providing numbers like average cost per play and total payouts to artists it would be much easier to evaluate if it is working for artists and the company.