My Band Has 1,000,000 Spotify Streams. Want to See Our Royalties?

Spotify Royalty Statement

This is the largest spreadsheet of Spotify royalties we’ve received to date.

That group that shared these statements was unsigned until just a few months ago.  Now, the group is fast-rising within a specific EDM niche.  While still label-less, they somehow managed to get onto a few Spotify featured playlists.  That’s becoming increasingly difficult for smaller artists. Though lightning can strike if the right, influential playlist curator stumbles upon your music.

We’ve seen this happen before, particularly to singer/songwriter Perrin Lamb, who scored more than $40,000 after getting slotted onto some heavily-streamed coffeehouse playlists (which powered more than 10 million streams).  We asked this group how they got slotted onto their plum playlists, and they told us they’re not sure exactly how it happened.  They weren’t working a strategy, they didn’t have a label at the time, and they definitely didn’t have money to blow on ‘playlist payola’ (and if you think you don’t need that, read this).

That said, it looks like this group has been getting a good amount of critical acclaim and buzz within their electronica niche, especially from their home turf of Australia.  So, it’s not entirely an accident that Spotify picked up on that momentum.

Looks like things are going well for these guys.  The group just signed an independent record deal and keep getting attention (and you’ve probably heard of this label).

And with that, here are this group’s Spotify royalties.  We’re missing that last few months, based reporting lag (and maybe their recent signing), but we’ve straight line estimated those based on the previous data (which goes back to October of 2013).

Total number of streams: 1,023,501

Total revenue: $4,955.90

Specific time period accounted: 10/15/2013 – 2/15/2013

(March, April, May periods not yet reported; estimated)

Average per-stream payout: $0.004891

And, for those who want to take the plunge, here’s the entire royalty breakdown.  If enough people want to play with the data itself, we’ll put a shared spreadsheet up on Gdrive or something (just let us know in comments).

And please share your royalties to [email protected]!  It will greatly help other artists and the industry to get a better sense of what streaming platforms are paying.

Written while listening to ‘2 Phones’ by Kevin Gates.

 

 

68 Responses

  1. anon

    I wonder how much the amount would be now compared to 2.5 years ago? The 1M streams would be diluted by increased usage onf the platform, but Spotify also collects a lot more in sub fees and advertising dollars because of this.

    Reply
      • lol

        yeah just go back to playing CDs with clunky players from the 90s out of touch old man.

        Reply
        • Esolesek

          Enjoy poverty and imprisonment sucking up to corporate-created 1984, stupid young sucker. Go lick some more boots while your worthless generation creates more lazy faux disco and faux synth pop, and can’t generate a talented revolutionary writer to save their lives. Go kiss your mommy again in your basement room. Go sell out some more to tech fascism.

          Reply
    • @calicvsh

      streaming is only side money, i been doing well
      just got my 4,000 dollar royalty streaming check from revalator.com
      they are pretty good. aint no real money from music
      but if you can use your star power as dim as it might be. lol
      to enlighten others and to teach others you can get paid.

      the game is to be sold not told

      Reply
    • Jole

      That is pretty okay .. Just counted 0.378 cents per play here, so a million streams would equal $3780

      Reply
      • Anonymous

        A million views without real money to promote your band?
        Have a seat and wait for death.

        Reply
      • Singer that cannot pay to be listened

        A million views without real money to promote your band?
        Have a seat and wait for death.

        Reply
  2. Streamer4LyfNigga

    “According to APRA AMCOS, the average fee for a metro commercial radio station to play a song is $6. Regional stations still have to pay, but the fee is lower.” That song could have been listened to by up to 50,000 people with a conservative estimate so $5,000 per million streams seems like a fair amount.

    Reply
    • Anonymous

      Yes, radio stations are pirate companies that need to be shut down asap.

      50 years ago, they meant everything to the music industry. Today, they’re absolutely — literally — worthless!

      Reply
      • lol

        today’s music industry still thinks anyone under 30 is going to go to a retail shop and buy a 20$ album to listen on a clunky cd player. says more about the old timers running it than anything.

        Reply
      • Permy Waters

        that’s so false. Radio moves the needle more on booking prices for artist than any other medium at the moment.

        Streams and soundcloud plays don’t generate nearly as much of a rise in the amount artists are being booked for. A radio hit does.

        Reply
        • MusicGuy

          This is very true. It’s still an “old boys club” that you have to get in with the right people and get them on your side.

          Reply
        • TheTruth

          Who wants to perform like monkey… Artist should be able to make music and sell it period!!! Book these nuts…

          Reply
  3. Anonymous

    “Total number of streams: 1,023,501. Total revenue: $4,955.90”

    Wooow, that’s as bad as YouTube!

    Reply
    • rp

      How is that bad when it could have been zero dollars, and note that not all their streams come from AU… Seems good to me. I’m sure there are a ton of artists out there, signed and unsigned that wouldn’t mind trading places.

      Reply
      • JM

        That’s not fair to say RP… So you are fine with these corporate goons short changing artists only to say “would you rather nothing” if they complain? This attitude turns these artists into something more like slaves.
        These artists worked hard writing these songs, rehearsing, gigging, touring (and possibly sacrificing family time to do so) with their own money so they can try and make a living from doing something they love. Don’t shit on their hard work and sacrifice by saying “would you rather earn nothing”.

        Reply
    • rty

      Even in the days of the record companies exploiting artists with vinyl singles sales there would have been a major difference in revenues for the artist, I imagine. If you sold 1,000,000 hard copy units you would likely be given a gold record or something like it rather than a deal with an independent label which has no money or influence.

      Reply
      • Dee Jay

        The key here is, “if you sold 1,000,000 hard copies”. That’s the thing: those records were sought after, wanted, chosen. Someone left their house and sought the record… vs stumbling upon it in some random playlist. How many of those 1 mil streams were skipped within the first 10-15 seconds?
        How many were returning users playing a song for the 10th time in a 24 hour period? Should I pay $10 for a record everytime I listen to it?!
        Those are just a couple of examples to show that Streaming is NOT the same as a hard copy.

        Let the past go or be left there.

        Reply
      • Matt

        Yeah except the charts use 1,000 or 1500 streams as the equivalent of one album purchase, which is probably a lot fairer than thinking of one stream as one album purchase.

        Essentially if you think of it this way: having one of your songs listened to by 1% of the subscribers on spotify 3 times a month then you can earn about 5,000 per month. That’s for having one song that is kind of liked by a tiny percentage of the group (and lets be honest if streaming didn’t exist then I doubt that most of the people with that interest level would go buy your album).

        Spotify streams a billion songs a day, and Apple adds 50% to that. The volume of streams is out there. Sorry that you have reach a notable interest level with several songs to see life changing royalties, but this is how things are now.

        Reply
    • Terrestrial Q

      Why is that bad? Z100 and KIIS FM reach about 123,700 Adults 18-49 with each spin. How much do they pay?

      Reply
  4. Me2

    Songwriter’s shares on these subscription platforms have always been abysmal.

    Can’t really compare network radio plays vs streams.. why do people always do that? It’s magnitudes difference.

    Needless to say 1milllion plays in digital land should be worth more than a coffee.

    Dilution by volume is the ostensible factor, but it equates to major revenue grab.

    Your punk band’s fans just subsidized Drake’s latest.

    Mathematical fact.

    Who gives a shit about your half a million plays.

    Reply
    • Me2

      Can I edit that? I didn’t really mean “digital land”, I meant “subscription land”.

      Reply
  5. Forrest Gump

    $5,000 per 1M streams seems almost reasonable. For you to earn $5,000 on traditional radio your music would have been heard by more than 1M people.

    Reply
    • Anonymous

      “For you to earn $5,000 on traditional radio your music would have been heard by more than 1M people.”

      Um yes, that’s why we don’t need radio. It was great 50 years ago, but today it’s absolutely worthless.

      Reply
      • Captain Obvious

        If it’s so worthless, why are there still stations doing it? Pandora is non-interactive, basically radio. I know, i know, involving IP (Internet Protocol) rather than just using EM waves is somehow special.

        Reply
        • Anonymous

          “If it’s so worthless, why are there still stations doing it?”

          Oh, but it isn’t worthless for the radio stations!

          On the contrary — monetizing other people’s property for free is an awesome business model.

          If you can get away with it. And preventing that is the next big thing after fixing the DMCA.

          Reply
          • Anonymous

            Radio stations don’t monetize for free. They have to pay the song writer for every song they play.

            Don’t comment on things you’re ignorant about.

          • Captain Obvious

            @Anonymous
            Songwriters get a royalty from radio play, but it’s the performers that aren’t paid ANYTHING in the US for radio play. An embarrassment shared by only few countries, North Korea being one of them.

  6. Rick Shaw

    Boo fricking hoo! Go play a bunch of pay to play shows for thousands of people and have to pay for the exposure. Sheesh.

    Reply
  7. Eddie

    1M streams may have been an impressive number half a decade ago, but lets be realistic – in mid 2016, 1M streams isn’t that great.

    Reply
  8. Eric

    $5,000 doesn’t seem that bad for 1M streams. According to the data, that was for one month. So let’s say the band streams at least 1M streams for the next few months, that’s $5k every month. No, it’s not a lot, but then again you have to diversify. If I was a small band and got paid $5k for a month AND got a possible record deal (even if it’s indie), that would be a win for me. Streaming services do market your music, it’s just become a crowded market that everyone wants in on.

    Reply
  9. Reggie

    Specific time period accounted: 10/15/2013 – 2/15/2013

    Im getting the ment 2/15/2016?

    Reply
  10. bloze duchamp

    how much is one million streams worth from Pirate Bay ?

    Reply
  11. BPH

    Label-less and a 1M streams. Sounds like Spotify is launching their career. I am still amazed that artists will never be satisfied because they live in the past. Until everyone realizes that the CD boom of the 90s is over and gone for, we are going to get these articles.

    At least you are getting paid for your music now…

    Reply
  12. Whoo Boy!!!!

    “Total number of streams: 1,023,501
    Total revenue: $4,955.90”

    What an incredibly incomplete and entirely misleading “revelation.”

    1) How much did they get for the publishing/performance from their PRO? You don’t include that, here.

    2) How much did they get for their radio plays to over a million listeners? You don’t allow any type of comparison, here.

    Forrest Gump
    $5,000 per 1M streams seems almost reasonable. For you to earn $5,000 on traditional radio your music would have been heard by more than 1M people.

    Exactly.

    BPH
    Label-less and a 1M streams. Sounds like Spotify is launching their career. I am still amazed that artists will never be satisfied because they live in the past. Until everyone realizes that the CD boom of the 90s is over and gone for, we are going to get these articles.

    At least you are getting paid for your music now…

    Exactly.

    Reply
  13. dkmstr

    The some streams will eventually generate downloads with with a terrific jaw dropping pay per download rate. Oh boy bere I do not see any big difference between owning a single cd and a download except from the fantastic 2016 royalty

    Reply
  14. professional musician

    SOOOOO much misinformation and misinterpretation around this topic. I make a living from Spotify. I don’t tour, I don’t have a major label propping me up, faking my numbers, or any of the other crap the industry requires. Spotify pays well over a penny per paid stream in the US. That’s significantly more than most other streaming sources. It blows away the per listener rate for radio play, and YouTube isn’t even close… even if you sign away your rights and first born to a MCN.

    Yes, the overall rate is less because of all the free users, but whether people want to admit it or not, these are users who are worth ZERO otherwise. Anyone who still believes freemium isn’t the best path forward has zero business sense or has been under a rock for the past decade when it comes to internet marketing. The numbers speak for themselves.

    I have tens of thousands of fans on Spotify. NONE of them had heard of me previously, and NONE of them have seen me in concert, yet they are paying my mortgage while hoards of whiny internet babies bitch about the loss of the “good old days” where gatekeepers owned everything and independents had no access.

    Pure stupidity.

    Reply
  15. Researcher

    Please share raw data in csv or any spreadsheet format. I want to do per-country calculations. I will share results here.

    Reply
  16. @calicvsh

    streaming is only side money, i been doing well
    just got my 4,000 dollar royalty streaming check from revalator.com
    they are pretty good. aint no real money from music
    but if you can use your star power as dim as it might be. lol
    to enlighten others and to teach others you can get paid.

    the game is to be sold not told

    Reply
  17. Barry Coffing

    Here is my 2 cents worth (= 4+ Spotify streams) I think the streaming rate should strive to be at least $.01 per stream and the revenue should be distributed with these splits.

    45% to the master recording rights holder (Record Label)
    25% to the performing artist/band
    20% to the writers & publishers
    3% to the Record Producer
    1% the the recording engineers (50% to tracking 50% to the one who mixed it)
    6% to the musicians & singers who performed on the recording

    I would love to hear your comments and suggestions.

    Reply
  18. Rick Shaw

    So, it’s almost $5k that of new revenue from sources that they didn’t have to do anything more to get after recording their music. Yes, this is a tragedy. Whiners.

    Reply
  19. Terrestrial Q

    Why is that bad? Z100 and KIIS FM reach about 123,700 Adults 18-49 with each spin. How much do they pay?

    Reply
  20. Adam

    Hey I’m not a musician, I’m a photographer( I have friends who are musicians of various stages in their career). But to me it seems like a pretty good deal to get paid per play especially for a small act.

    I’m thinking of friends who are talented musicians who spent thousands of dollars getting CDs made which are now sitting in their closets, the lucky ones were able to recoup their investment while most never will. If you can get income and not shell out for a product consumers don’t really buy and get exposure to literally millions more possible fans, why not spend your cd money on better recordings, marketing and other products which have better returns, T-shirts, stickers, buttons, etc?

    I just saw three bands who I discovered through Spotify, they are on a sold out tour and have had little to no commercial radio play at this stage in their career. I expect them to be playing larger tours and festivals going forward, their fanbase will expand, their plays will expand and their royalties will expand and so will their merch sales and licensing opportunities.

    Reply
  21. Lolo

    Spotify should have a graduated pay out so the first 5 million streams or so get paid at higher rate than a song that is hitting the 50 million or 100 million. This is what Taylor Swift should have lobbied for instead of just removing herself from Spotify.

    Reply
  22. john

    The thing is that you will continue to get the royalties over the years for the same music, if the music is good and people actually listen to it, and the fans will probably buy the album for collecting proposes anyway.
    Don’t get me wrong, I believe Spotify should raise the royalties to artists and i don’t mind paying some extra money for the premium membership but it is a long term pay off.
    For someone who buys the album is an one payment of 10$ but for the streamer who listens to the music all the time over the years might pay more than that for the same album.

    Reply
  23. Froth Lord

    If you factor in the costs of producing the song – the equipment, time, etc then $5000 is bugger all, especially for a band having to divide it up.
    Music is hideously undervalued, hence why I’ve taught myself how to autofellate – which I perform daily on webcam for paying subscribers = $$$$$$$. Perhaps some of you muso’s should give it a go !

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Verify Your Humanity *