How Much Does Spotify Pay for 1 Million Streams? Here’s an Actual Royalty Statement

If you’re wondering how much Spotify pays for 1 million streams, we have the answer. This is the largest spreadsheet of Spotify royalties we’ve ever received.

The artists who shared this statement were unsigned until just a few months ago. Now, the group has inked an indie label deal and is quickly gaining steam within a specific EDM niche while generating lots of Spotify streams. Which means they can finally answer the question: how much does Spotify pay for 1 million streams?

While still label-less, they somehow managed to get onto a few Spotify featured playlists.  That’s becoming increasingly difficult for smaller artists, both on Spotify and various Spotify alternatives. Lightning can strike, however, 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.

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



259 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.

    • Anonymous

      At any rate, it shows that streaming was a total failure.

      • lol

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

        • 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.

          • Anonymous

            Something tells me you are a failing jazz musician who wishes he majored in something other than music.

          • nick

            Great music is written every day, but you don’t
            know where to find it.

          • Anonmusix

            Agreed spotify paid me 0.00013 per stream. That’s total garbage.

            It cost thousands to buy equipment then to make a track and artwork will cost a lot. Some artist pay up to 2500.00 to produce one song.
            It cost me about 300-500 doing all the work myself.

            Then you have to PAY for a press release, and other promotion to get your track heard.

            And then if you use a line from some ones work you have to purchase a seperatr mechanical license and the law treats a stream THE SAME as a CD sale. You have to tell them the total amount of streams you will get in the license.

            Basically they’ve rigged this so bad against the artists that its impossible to survive playing and creating music without heavy touring Or corporate backing.

            This shit is evil.
            If you like an artist by their LP And merch and go to their live shows. That can make the difference between feeding the family or quitting for good.

          • Anonymous

            When you put out a hit single you will be allowed to speak again. Till then. Shut the fuck up.

          • Anonymous

            Just look up City and Colour. I’ll wait. How about Quiet Company, Ryanhood, William Fitzsimmons, Max Gomez, Shacky Graves, John Grant, Bernhoft…. need I go on?

          • esolickmyass

            fucking boomers always think their opinions matter lmao. get with the times old man, and stop sniffing your own ancient farts. the younger generation you hate is going to outlive relics like you, and there’s nothing you can do. stay mad, and die mad.

          • Calmdownkeyboardwarrior

            Woah, we got ourselves an edge lord.

          • H.V.

            You’re a useless person. Sounds like your the one who fucks his mom. Wish I could be the one the punch your teeth out. Your probably work at subway while he’s making something of himself.

        • Den

          You’re an idiot. Do some actual research on the ramifications of giant monopolies low-balling musicians. Or enjoy your naive mono-culture…its a sinking ship

          • John

            You have no idea what you are talking about. The times are changing. The music industry is becoming quickly saturated. And our generation has to deal with that, along with 50 years of political inactivity from my parents generation that have sent this world spiraling down.

          • Andrew Bird

            Spotify “aggressively plunders” musicians, far worse than big labels before it. But… people support it by not paying for music.

          • Big up Gil cock

            STFU den you virgin, get a life you derelict excuse of a human being. Raped your mother and she’s in my den

        • Steve

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

          Ah, to be so dumb. I remember that.

        • Paul T

          It’s a total failure for artists. It’s great for the end user. Being great for the end user doesn’t make it a fair or ethical system and there is no reason other than greed why it couldn’t be.

        • Jay

          Obviously your not a music artist. Keep conveniently streaming while
          having no clue of what it takes to create an album. A good album at that. Not trash!

        • Jay

          Obviously your not a music artist. Keep conveniently streaming while
          having no clue of what it takes to create an album. A good album at that. Not trash!

        • David

          What a lame response. A million streams is worth some$$$. In the pre-rip off days, that was gold. Ask Peter Frampton. What should of been worth over 5,000,000 was reduced to 55, 000. This theiving format is killing all generes of music as we know it. Obviously you can’t even sing in the shower but wise up! The insentive for great artist is being destroyed by these less than penny’s off 2bucks. Get real! 3 streams for artist to make a penny? If you this is ok, you need to live in a world without music!

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          • Cream Pie

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          • Cream Pie

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      • Anonymous

        Streaming is most definitely NOT a failure. You only look at plays as if it were number of people, yet this is completely false. If you buy a song for $1 on Itunes or even a CD where, let’s say there are 10 songs and it was $10, equaling $1 per song, you would listen to each song AT LEAST a couple hundred times before you get tired of it. This is about $0.005 per play, much like Spotify pays out. It’s not unfair, people simply think 1,000,000 plays is A LOT, when in reality it’s very little in the grand scheme of things.

          • Cream Pie

            In position fuckboys just like McKenna
            . He so shite at football he needs to get a life

          • AnOnYmOuS

            i eat my shit for breakfast just like the mum next door

        • Joe PRO

          This is correct. 1M streams != 1M in sales.

          A stream is one listen by one person.

          1M streams just isn’t that many; much closer to a few spins on a major market radio station, e.g., rather than 1M in sales.

        • Steven

          You are not completely correct in your assessment.

          When you purchase a CD, you own the plastic and platter that the music property is recorded on, and you rent a license to allow “you” to listen to that music until the physical CD is no longer usable.

          Where spotify ‘streams’ the performance and does not natively provide a permanent copy of the performance, your license is effectively for ‘you’ to listen to it 1 time. Your agreement with spotify to allow you to repeatedly stream it at no additional cost does not imply the artists should be paid based on number of subscribers, but rather on the number of times their performance is streamed.

          The fact that Spotify earns advertising revenue on every performance streamed, provides a measurable dollar amount which lawfully should be shared with the performer and/or their assignee, typically the label requires at least partial copyright ownership to some portions of the property.

          Spotify has agreements with the labels which dictates how much of tat advertising revenue is shared with the labels in exchange for using the performance property to enhance the experience of viewing that ad. Additionally, these agreements require spotify to more heavily promote the performances from the Labels catalog than those of independent artists.

          This is why the Labels continue to earn more than the artists do on streamed performances, and why represented artists earn more streaming revenue per play than independent artists do.

          To be fair, $5,000 for 1,000,000 performances considerably low, when even a mediocre performer can earn considerably more simply busking on the street.

          • Christine

            Hi I know this is an older post but I wanted to ask – would it make a difference if you were to start a small independent label solely to represent your own band as a represented artist? I’ve heard of people doing this to get paid more on larger concert tours like the vans warp tour who also try to undercut independent artists doing things on their own. Or is the higher artist payout strictly reserved for artists represented by well known labels?

        • The Boy Jones

          Hey there,Hope your well. Do you actually believe what you your saying?

        • Toby

          This depends on your deal with Spotify though, as well as who else gets a share of that “$0.005.” Let’s say you have a distribution and record companies taking a share, then split it up between composers and engineers. 1,000,000 streams at $0.005 each works out at $5000, but with all the other sources taking from that as well, that number will be a lot smaller for one individual. Especially as it will take a long time for any song to rack up 1,000,000 streams

        • Jim

          You are insane with this whole “will listen to an album over and over”.


          It’s a stupid argument. I have downloaded albums for free that I never listened to. If music is scarce, you might find yourself listening to a record over and over because you have a limited number of choices to listen to. If a CD is $10, and Spotify gives a half a cent a play, or 5 cents an album you need 2,000 plays of songs, or, 2,00 plays of an album. I might have listened to the same album 200 times, maybe a few times, because scarcity. Maybe my first album I listened to 200 times, but when you have 200 albums, you aren’t listening to them 200 times.

          Most people do not have a limited amount of music. We should not be guiding our conduct based on the consumer behavior of people without much in the way of musical taste.

          The argument you use is that spotify gets you money from people who would never have given you money before.

          Those $10 from people who were buying a CD was a very good thing, people should want to replace that chunk of money that people were getting from CD or album sales.

          But you’re getting a half a penny from a wide assortment of people, people who would never give you that $10. So, you get $10 from 100, or $0.05 from 20,000.

          Streaming should pay more. Charging – at maximum – $10 a month is really putting a cap on how much a person can pay.

          Spotify and Youtube should probably be ripped to shreds by acts once they can figure out how they can get paid better by streaming.

          Here’s what an artist will think in the future.

          “I’m getting a nickel for every stream. Why do I want Spotify or Youtube to be streaming my stuff? They’re paying less than a penny. I like what Spotify and Youtube can do for me to expose me to new listeners. But I’d give Spotify and Youtube only the stuff I really want people to listen to right now. My fans, the ones who listen to all my stuff, they use the new system that pays me a nickel. The single is on Spotify. The video is on Youtube. Everything else of me is pulled from Spotify and pulled from Youtube – and all that content goes onto the new system that pays me a nickel.

          The new nickel system will have everything, and youtube would be left with current singles and current videos. Bands could be getting so much per stream or per minute live stream that they could be going out of their way to generate premium content for their fans to pay them to stream.

          • Bacca

            based on what I understood from all those posts, yours seems the most thoughtful and the least hateful. Kudos to you.
            Let me make sure I understand properly though.
            You’re saying that Artist should post only a small selection of their work on those platforms and diffuse the rest directly with their audience ? I like this idea but that would mean that every artist has to have its own streaming platform or only sell record and CDs right ?

        • William

          The point is, the musician could use the money now, to continue to produce more art. $10 per album NOW from each album purchaser is a lot more than $.004 per song played over the course of a year or three (by your math) till the customer grows tired of the song.

          Do you want your payment in full, up front, to be put towards marketing, touring, and future album creation (thus kickstarting bigger audiences and sales while the iron is hot) or doled out in 4 hundredths of a cent over several years? Fat lot of good it does strung out like that in streaming payments. Also, even 200 plays (a looong time) for one song at the cost of $0.004 (Spotify) still only equals $0.8 I choose to support the artist as directly as possible. Or else I risk the rest of my life listening to corporate-produced, machined, crap. You literally get what you pay for.

          • Jonas

            And you think the artist gets 10 USD for each sold album?

            What about VAT etc?

      • Physionix


      • Soul7Beats

        Better than getting paid nothing due to piracy. This is a solution, while it may not be perfect, I challenge anyone to come up with a better remedy and you can’t say “just go back to selling music” because the market has made it obvious that’s not gonna work anymore.

      • joe

        Spotify only had 10 million premium subscribers back in 2014. I suspect a very low percentage were Australian. How much did the band make from album sales in those 4 months outside Australia? (assuming the date range was supposed to say 2/15/2014 because what was written made no sense) Now go ahead and divide that number by 600 to reflect the number of people using Spotify vs number of people in the world.

        If the band actually made 3mil on album sales outside of Australia, then this number seems low. My guess is they didn’t.

    • @calicvsh

      streaming is only side money, i been doing well
      just got my 4,000 dollar royalty streaming check from
      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

      • L100

        A lot of players can’t get over the difference between a sale and a stream. With a stream, you get paid again and again for all time. With a sale, it’s one and done. Anyway, people don’t really want to own files anymore. A download has no value at all, at any price.

        The effective CPM this act is seeing is double what Pandora pays. Converted to rates for display advertising it’s about a $4 CPM, which is decent. Junky inventory on blogs earns less than $1. Stellar inventory in a video maxes out around $20. Radio in the US pays $0 to performers.

        Plus, nobody promised you – the player – jack shit. If you can hustle up meaningful money out of every possible angle combined you’re doing fine. For myself, I make good money doing bluegrass live and don’t really care about money from streaming.

        • Pay The Artist

          I think that’s the point, the no worthwhile revenue is made by artists from streaming. Only the platforms and industry profit from people’s desire for convenience. Like you said, artists can only make money from playing shows. Why should corporations hijack artists work, while Spotify users convince themselves they’re supporting artists. They’re not.

    • Jole

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

      • Anonymous

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

      • Singer that cannot pay to be listened

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

          • Cream Pie

            This website is so shit like McKenna playing football u shitheads fuckboy

          • Cream Pie

            This website is so shit like McKenna playing football u shitheads fuckboy. Salty fucka

      • smarterthanyou

        no, your math is wrong and you are an idiot. you should stop commenting on sites and kill yourself immediately…

    • Fred

      Suppose your song was getting played on a solid radio station in the 10 biggest cities in the US. How many people would hear the song each time it was played in all 10 cities? How many plays would it take to have your song heard a million times? How much would the royalty be for that much airplay?

      It seems to me that artists are trying to see streaming as a substitution for selling discs and not as an equivalent for being on the radio, which I think is closer to what it really is. In the end the value of a musical act will be in its live shows.

      • Coby

        This website is known for being a pussy destroyer

      • Steven

        I largely agree with you here except, even radio play revenue is not based solely on how often an artist’s 1 song is played but rather, it is compounded by the number of songs the artist would be entitled to earn revenue from, if they held the performance copyright.

        As a comparison, if I had 1 song that was played frequently enough to be heard by 50 million people in a cycle where 1 Beatles song was played immediately after mine and no other Beatles song was played during that same cycle, their copyright holder would earn considerably more for that one play than I would for mine.

      • Soul7Beats

        I 100% agree with this. 1,000,000 streams in the perspective of the entire internet is nothing; it’s a drop in the bucket. 1,000,000 streams don’t mean you sold 1,000,000 albums, especially since playlist placement alone can boost you 100k plays. I think a lot of people need to take a step back and shift their perspective.

    • Bloopers

      The problem is that you’re trying to compare historical royalty rates with a brand new metric that didn’t previously exist: $ per listen.

      If you tried to estimate the $ per listen for regular music downloads, it might look like the following:

      – $0.99 for a song
      – Store takes 30%
      – Label gets $0.693
      – Artist gets 15% of label revenue in royalties: $0.10395
      – Purchaser listens to their track 20 times over five or ten years

      = $0.0051975 per listen.

      Keep in mind too that the Spotify figures combine paid for and free listens. If you added in all the listens on radio and the subsequent revenue, the $ per listen for the more traditional model would be cut in half.

      • Cassie

        do the artist get paid if you listen to them but have a free spotify account?

        • Anon

          Yes. But not as much as it would be if the streamer is a paid subscriber.

        • The Boy Jones

          You seem sweet & kind. Do yourself and the artists your drawn to a favor. Buy their Music, Go to their Shows, Share their work. Corporations will never have an artist interest in mind.

          • Coby

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          • Darlo destroyer

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          • Physionix

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      • Steven

        You are correct until the line of, “– Purchaser listens to their track 20 times over five or ten years”.

        Where each stream is considered a single performance, Spotify is earning advertising revenue per stream event and sharing a considerable portion with the labels.

        Spotify is not in the business of streaming music, they provide a paid advertising platform. To increase the number of people that will see their ads, they rent a musical performance to entertain the ad-watcher. This is no different than hiring a band to perform in a bar to encourage the bar patrons to dance, knowing they will get thirsty and drink more beer.

        As such, they should be sharing that revenue stream with the artists based on the premise of 1 stream = 1 performance, it should not be diluted on the presumption that their audience will ask to hear that same song again, then next time they view an advertisement.

        • Alia’s left ballsack

          Shut up Steven and go grab them free vbucks otherwise I will get Nicky boy onto you. Your tryharding on a music website coby sheet website

      • Well

        Yes but with this math, the label is still taking from that amount!

    • Anonymous

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    • XD COBI


    • A

      stop forcing an old model to try to work. stop crying. money in music is not made by music sales any longer; consider that advertising where you are you are doing good if you break even. no, the money in the new model is in merchandise and live performance events. particularly live performance.

      this isn’t the record company’s fault; it is dictated by the people who listen, and internet technology introduced into the market. The record companies aren’t going to give away their money anymore than the artists want to give away their artist money! it’s just that the record companies and streaming companies have the upper hand.

      so artists need to adapt and find live performance options: local opening band, headlining local band, regional opening band, headlining regional band, national opening band, and so on and so on. use your brain and move up the ladder one rung at a time.

    • Anon

      Hi. I want to stay anon but from my last payout from Spotify was exactitude $46.65 USD. Guess how many streams I got (you busted wrong!) – I had about 40,000 streams (that is about 0.00116 USD per stream), damn the payout for each stream ahs gone down. I also use Tunecore where I keep 100% of my royalties.

    • John

      It’s about 0.001 per stream now
      I had 60k streams in August and got 50 dollars.

  2. Anonymous

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

    Wooow, that’s as bad as YouTube!

      • Anonymous

        No, $5/1,000 YouTube views are not uncommon if you use an MCN.

        So there goes Spotify’s only selling point.

      • Anonymous

        If there was a federally mandated streaming rate, say 1 cent per stream, think about how much money Google would be forced to pay to artists.

        Think about it.

    • 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.

      • Anonymous

        Were you dropped on your head as a child?

      • 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”.

    • 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.

      • 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.

        • JEWBACCA

          Spotify is meant as a way to get music to people. Unless you listen to a playlist, it’s not likely that someone stumbled upon your stuff who simply won’t enjoy it. I am constantly stumbling upon new music and I support those bands now the same as I would back in the day. If I find an album I absolutely love, i’ll buy it, go to their shows, buy merch, and if not for Spotify… I would never have found them in the first place. So I think a real question is, I wonder how much artist benefit from Spotify in OTHER avenues BECAUSE of Spotify.

          Besides, you have 5 songs that each have over a million streams, you can subsidize your income rather well. It will likely never be a main source of income, but I’d throw stuff up to support my REAL money makers like touring and merch. It’s easy to access, so I have no problems with it. Though I would like to see the cost per stream to rise.

          • Apes

            Thank you. You’re absolutely right about this. Spotify has helped my band grow tremendously. By getting ourselves onto genre-specific playlists (and making our own) a lot of people discover my band when listening to artists they already like in the genre, and then go on to buy our albums on Bandcamp, iTunes, and come out to shows. We have gained hundreds of fans in the past few months this way. Streaming has basically taken over the function of radio plays and leveled the playing field for new artists. Radio stations (except for college/public radio) do not curate new music anymore, they simply play what they are told to play by execs (read: people with $ who pay to get on big labels, etc). Independent artists today actually stand a chance at getting recognized by fans because of streaming services like Spotify.

        • XXam

          My last record we were paid 1 dollar per record sale. Split between 4 people my share….25 cents. 10 songs on the album, so I get 2.5 cents per song sold.

          Every record I published since 1995 was the same deal from the label…1 dollar per CD.

          Those are the real numbers for most of us who have had label representation folks.

      • 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.

    • 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?

  3. 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!

    • 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.

    • 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.

      • 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.

      • TheTruth

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

  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.

    • Me2

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

  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.

    • 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.

      • 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.

        • 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.

          • 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

            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.

          • BRad

            When the radio plays a song there is no pausing or replaying it is the best advertising as people who hear that like it will want to buy so they can play it when they want. People would pay the radio station payola to get spins so money controlled what was played like it still does with play packages and advertising schemes. Th advantage of streaming is it allows the cream to rise but if it does not lead to as many sales5 the split should be fair accurate and clearly defined.

  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.

  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.

  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.

  9. Reggie

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

    Im getting the ment 2/15/2016?

  10. bloze duchamp

    how much is one million streams worth from Pirate Bay ?

  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…

    • Jim

      but the CD is gone, and people, unsigned people, were able to turn those CDs into $10 not too long ago.

      it’s a pretty easy argument that hasn’t been made – if you can’t get your fans to give you $10 for a CD, get them to give you $10 for a T shirt.

      Bands have to figure out new ways to get their fans to give them money. The internet has been around 20 years now. Lots of different people have realized the internet is a great way to make money. Musicians can figure out new ways to have their fans give them money.

  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.


    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…


  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

  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.

    • Jordan

      BRO CAN YOU TEACH ME?!?! PLEASE!! I’m already on Spotify and Apple Music but I’m struggling to figure out how to grow my audience outside of my personal influence and circle.

    • BananaTux

      I am starting a blog of streaming success stories. Can we talk more? I’d like to feature your story. Email me. Chris@thelyricexchangedotcom

    • M R

      I agree. I’m also a prof musician who is earns about a quarter of their living from spotify. It amounts to around $1000 per month. And that’s not on that many listens- 40,000 or so. that’s from 4.5k listeners. That’s pretty small fry. If I’m earning that, then people will a million listens would be earning a lot more. I’m not sure about this article…maybe they have a crappy deal with label who takes most of the money and gives them a small share?

  15. Researcher

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

  16. @calicvsh

    streaming is only side money, i been doing well
    just got my 4,000 dollar royalty streaming check from
    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

  17. Berrian

    still, there should be a revolution like Musicoin, a currency for musicians.

  18. 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.


          then catch it you piece of shit or i will with my mouth wide open as long as you cum 4 me ;;;)(

    • UGH

      Splits are case by case. Every song has a different deal attached. Spotify doesn’t decide how much artist vs label makes. If there is a label or distribution company, it is their responsibility to distribute funds accordingly. If not, the artist is paid directly. Publishing is distributed by ASCAP, BMI, PRS, GEMA, etc.

  19. 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.

  20. 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?

  21. 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.

  22. 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.

  23. 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.

  24. 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 !

  25. DAD

    This is a thought – Bastilles Pompeii has 419,000,000 view making a princely sum of about 20000£…
    Play for love !

    • bratseth

      How do you come to that sum ? Have you read it somewhere ? I am really interested. The guy in the article above said, his band got 5000 $ for 1 million streams. Shouldn’t Bastille got 419 x 5000 $ = 2.095.000 $ for ‘Pompeii’ ? Or am i missing something here ?

  26. mp

    $5000 for listens? Doesn’t seem too bad to me. If you have $1 million in streams you should be able to stay booked. It seems incredibly lazy to think you can just make money and not have to go on the road to earn your pay. Only now you can charge more per show, and you have leverage when negotiating with a booking agency because of your views.

  27. Dan

    Soooo… if I buy a song for 0.99c and then listen to it once a day in my playlist you get 0.0027c per play. If I do it for 2 years your get 0.0013c per play… -30% for Gplay or Itunes store fees….how is that any better??

  28. JOE

    Radio stations are dinosaurs. I don’t need some lefthand-fapping DJ to interrupt my listening while he makes fun of deaf people and amputees or has a contest to see who can hold their pee the longest and causes someone’s death. I am an “old guy” (+30) and I care nothing about CDs except as nostalgia and something to share with my kids when they are older. Spotify will pay more when stronger artists negotiate for more.

  29. Alex

    By this calculation Drake the most streamed artist on spotify has made just under 35 mil from spotify royalties.

    Sounds about right…

  30. Scott

    Wow. There is much ignorance here. 1 million plays is not that many, guys. There are 318 million people in the US alone. Congratulations! 0.3% of the population has streamed your music!

    Get over yourselves. Making 5 grand for having next to no plays and no name recognition? For EDM? There are skilled, professional musicians who make way less.

    Get over yourself, please.

  31. Alex

    i’m using tunecore for sharing my music. a couple of days i’ve found 400$ in my tunecore account.Only from Germany, just one track, i had 24,412 sreams = $105.33 (this is just february)
    I don’t have a band, i’m a small producer in my free time. The luck i had is because of some guy with an youtube verified channel, with 600k plus subs, posted my track and that’s it.
    Its not much, but..i’m happy because i didn’t gain real money after what i’m producing.

  32. El David

    The sad part is 30 years ago they would have also made just as little (if they didn’t end up owing the label) with how they do accounting.

  33. Anonymous

    Are these royalties for master or pub? Or both? Not a complete picture unless we know all revenue and where it came from.


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  34. BananaTux

    Nobody here has asked one very important question. What royalties are we are looking at? Is looks to me like we are only seeing performance royalties for a composition. What about royalties for the sound recording and the mechanicals? Or is there something I am missing here?

  35. Steve

    Just logged into my Last.Fm account.
    I have enough plays from my favourite band that they would have made $130 in royalties from me over the years. I haven’t scrobbled for a few years now, and it’s ignoring the good 10 years or so of listening to music before I started on the site.

    I have purchased all their albums. Assuming $30 per album like it used to be, and assuming they get 10% of the sale, which is a HUGE assumption, the band has made $27 from me.

  36. Joe

    Times have changed for artists. It is, what it IS.
    The entire planet has been affected by change and a lower pay scale.

  37. Celestial Aeon Project

    I publish instrumental fantasy music on Spotify and I can confirm that the rate per 1000 streams has been around 5-7 dollars for a few years now. In my opinion it is still quite a good number to be honest. I haven’t made any big breaks when it comes to official playlists but I still manage to stream about 100,000-200,000 streams each month with my few projects added together.

    You have to realise that it is basically passive income after the tune is released. You just have to figure out right balance between how you produce the music and what it’s “lifeline” will be. Especially with niche music it can be very good prospect if you can produce the music in your home studio with no extra expenses. The main thing is just getting to a point where your project has at least some following and visibility so that you will get to some good playlists organically and let the streams come in.

    In my opinion there is no point “looking back to the golden years”. Things and technology in general will always change and drastically disrupt stable systems and you just have to learn to play along and find the ways to make those new things work for you. I personally look forward to anything that will come. Back in the 90s my kind of home musician didn’t have any chance to get any listens. Now I can just do a tune, bounce it and boom, in a few days it is there on iTunes, Spotify, bandcamp, you name it. Brilliant.

    • Mark

      Hey! I remember you from around 2006, when I found you on Jamendo! I really loved your music, I guess I’ll just look you up on Spotify. Great news that you are doing well with your recordings, keep up the good work!

    • Kyle

      Well said. Not to disregard your music or anything but most many listeners probably wouldn’t purchase it outright because there’s so much content out there and no one can afford to buy every tune they kinda like. But with streamig they don’t hestitate to listen whatsoever. That’s money in the bank that likely would have never materialized without the new model.

      I still think the payout per stream should be slightly higher. But only 1000 streams equaling the price of an EP sounds really sweet. One or two people can stream that in just a little under two weeks if they listen on repeat. Great info. I’m gonna go check out your music.

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  39. SweatyNigballs


  40. SweatyNigballs


  41. chip

    royalties are for one time only or you receive 4k every month?

  42. Kyle

    I don’t agree that streaming is atotal failure. That’s money you guys probably would’ve never made without streams. There’s much music on my phone that I would never listen to if not for streaming acct. only a handful of songs would I buy if they were all pulled from my stream service and I’d like the rest fall to the floor. And mind you, when someone buys your album you only get paid once for the entire lifetime of the record. Yes, it’s a better immediate payout but even people who still buy music don’t buy full albums, they only buy individual singles. Like me. So in the long run your music will have legs if people continue listening and listening. Hell, you could make a whole album’s worth of money off of one song with streaming with other just a few people listening to it on repeat like most people listen to music.

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    Shut up ninja you’ve got a bigger rash than Marc kerraults caravan and ass combined.

  47. Anonymous

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  48. K

    When you consider that before streaming, people bought physical albums, and they could replay the songs as often as they liked. So lets say the average fan who likes a song would replay their tape/CD/record on average 25 times. So 1M plays equates to about 40,000 albums sold. Which is … not even a tenth of a way to a gold album.

    Before streaming we never counted individual plays, because that’s impossible. Trying to use the number of plays as some sort of indicator to how much should be recouped is nonsensical. The number has no analog (heh) to the traditional model.

  49. Eagle-eye

    Everyone here is wrong.
    The equation is dead simple:

    Spotify and Apple Music pays what it can after deducting costs. It charges for its services what it deems most people will pay. That increases every year as dependence on the service increases. It’s really that simple.
    If you’re getting paid 0.005/stream now, yea that sucks balls, but you’d be paid zero if the streaming services didn’t exist. And it will increase as time goes by.

    The blatant fact however, is also super simple: No one wants to return to physical media. No one wants to return to piracy. I also know I won’t be paying more than I already am, for Spotify. It’s the best service, but it’s already expensive as is.

    What truly does need to happen, is the elimination of labels altogether. They provide zero value when there is no distribution, logistics or even marketing on their part anymore.

    Spotify and Apple Music (fuck Pandora – they pay 1/6th of Spotify btw,) could easily BE the label – work directly with artists and cut out the old school labels completely.

    Just my 2 cents ofc.

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  50. Your degree is worthless

    Lol, being a musician. Get a real job, kiddos.

  51. Dave Marble

    Thanks to Spotify and their competitors I have listened to more, and more diverse, music than I ever have in my life. New artists, established artists, weird and wonderful artists. The world has completely changed since I used to go to HMV and buy a CD. I always tried to buy the one I wanted and one completely random selection. This was expensive with a 20% success rate at best. It’s liberating to be able to listen to all sorts of music whenever I want and also to make my own decisions, or at least seek opinion from people I trust, rather than being forced down a musical path by record companies and radio plays. It’s all out there and I can choose. So this doesn’t solve the problem for the greedy established artists, but frankly, if I had written a song and it had been listened to 1 million times, I think I would piss myself with excitement. Isn’t that what being an artist is about – being seen and heard. Not being paid?

    • Neil Bass

      I agree Dave. I use Spotify to search and preview before buying the CD (yes I am old). However, there must be a difficult area between the self funded amateur and the big sellers. It is still a case of “don’t give up your day job”.

  52. Anton Yeshch

    Could you please make the data available? I wanted to do some nice data analysis on that?

  53. M R

    Doesn’t make sense. I earn $1000 from around 40,000 listens a month from Spotify.

  54. MrRhythm

    What a pile of shit. All of this hating here basically amounts to nothing. Bottom line is: your legacy is what you create yourself. Whether you make a living by it or not does not necessarily matter. It’s you that has to live with it–unless you feel you must force others to live with it as you would like it to be in your mind. Again–it doesn’t matter. Nobody will really lose any sleep over your feelings of inadequacy or your inability to make a living in the music business. And to all those supposedly young artists here hating on an older generation, I got news for you all: You’re going to get old, too! LOL. Good luck when you get there–ain’t gonna be any different that is has been for us. Me? I’d like to make more money–but I’ve been successful enough to continue to make a living in the music business for over 20 years. I really don’t care what anyone thinks about me. I’m in it first for the art (because I love it and can’t imagine living without music), and secondly for the money! As for the industry–I don’t see much change other than massive saturation. Everyone complained about Big Record 30 years ago–I really don’t see any difference with Big Digital now–they’re all fucking bloodsuckers living off the backs of hard working musicians. Hasn’t changed for hundreds of years.

  55. Mikey

    1 million streams will give you more than that.
    you are only receiving royalties trough one channel which should be the label/distributor. those royalties are related to the master recording.
    there are still 3 other channels from where you receive royalties regarding the music composition and and performance.
    Most artists forget the music business side and then complaint they are not properly paid.

    • John

      It’s about 0.001 per stream now
      I had 60k streams in August and got 50 dollars.
      And I have a label via distrokid

  56. Down Under

    Since using Spotifiy, I’m listening to Artist’s that I’d never would have had exposure to before.

    No longer do people have to go out to listen to Dj’s or spend hours in record shops trying to find something new and exciting to listen too.

  57. Ed

    A pro muso in 2020
    I make music from nothing
    softening hearts my calling
    more smiles for people
    doing the real living

    Telcos Spotify’s facsimiles
    downloads aren’t free
    connected you are to me
    contracts phones monthly billing
    a great tax burden is shifting

    Less coin for tune
    fuck my tax return
    take my music its free
    I’m clean
    I love you

    • Ea Servers

      Watch it ED I’ve got a black belt in origami, I’m not afraid to fold you into a swan and roll you down the M1

  58. Jay

    Posting this Jan 2020

    What some do not understand, is a ‘stream’ is much like a ‘listen’ on a radio station.

    If your song was played by a radio station, the airplay royalty would be $.05-$.07, but in a large city 10,000 or even 50,000 people might be listening. Do the math on the ‘listens’ and the streaming rates are not so bad.

    Independent Artists (I am one) would never have made much money from radio airplay either. The hope is to induce CD sales, or merch, or tickets to a show.

    Years ago small artists ONLY made money from shows, merch or selling cassette tapes (!) off the stage. No chance to get radio play to promote.

    Look at spotify as a marketing tool, that also pays a little. There should NEVER be the expectation that your music on spotify is going to pay your way. Just like radio only paid good money to the top artists with big hit songs.

    I guarantee if you create a hit song, your tune will change.

    Create works that people want to hear, and things can grow from that. If you are super niche based, then you need to market hard to your fans, put on good shows and have great merch. – Cheers

  59. Gilly got a big willy

    Shut up you nerdy fucker, suggest you offer me more money you greasy fucka

    • Anonymous

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  60. brittany harding

    im sorry guys, didnt mean to upset anyone. you can have my greasy minge if you want…

  61. jay

    what is happening here i am applauded by your behavior and i think that you need to mature. this is disgraceful to the music community were all peaceful over here. i am simply disappointed anyway think you should try to be kinder lol

  62. jay

    I am just trying to spread love, if you dont stop i have no option but to call the police x

  63. jay

    i have simply had enough with this bull crap (excuse my language) you guys are horrible people and need to be kinder. just remember words hurt.

  64. JAY

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