How Many Spotify Streams Do Artists Need to Earn Minimum Wage?

Spotify streams minimum wage

Photo Credit: Aidan Bartos

Ever wondered how many Spotify streams an artist needs per month to earn minimum wage?

The answer to that question depends on where the artist is from in the United States. The federal minimum wage is set at $7.25, while many states have higher minimum wages based on population density. Digital Music News took the average reported royalty rate of $0.00492 from Spotify to calculate how many streams artists need per state minimum wage.

The minimum wage data used in this article is taken from the 2021 projections of most states. It’s worth noting that the $0.00492 average royalty rate is quite generous for Spotify – artists report anywhere between $0.003 and $0.005 per stream.

For the sake of these calculations, we’ve assumed a minimum wage job at 40 hours a week. That’s the federal full-time work standard. At the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour, musicians would need to earn $290 per week from Spotify to equal a minimum wage, full-time job. That’s just under $1,200 monthly from Spotify.

But many states have a minimum wage that is much higher than the current federal standard. Here’s a look at how many streams it would take to make a monthly minimum wage living for artists.

Spotify Streams to Earn Minimum Wage by State – 2021

  • Alabama – $7.25 per hour – 235,773 streams per month
  • Alaska – $10.34 per hour – 336,261 streams per month
  • Arizona – $12.15 per hour – 395,122 streams per month
  • Arkansas – $11 per hour – 357,724 streams per month
  • California – $14 per hour – 455,285 streams per month
  • Colorado – $12.32 per hour – 400,651 streams per month
  • Connecticut – $13 per hour – 422,765 streams per month
  • Delaware – $10.25 per hour – 333,333 streams per month
  • Washington D.C. – $15 per hour – 487,805 streams per month
  • Florida – $10.00 per hour – 325,204 streams per month
  • Georgia – $7.25 per hour – 235,773 streams per month
  • Hawaii – $10.10 per hour – 328,456 streams per month
  • Idaho – $7.25 per hour – 235,773 streams per month
  • Illinois – $11.00 per hour – 357,724 streams per month
  • Indiana – $7.25 per hour – 235,773 streams per month
  • Iowa – $7.25 per hour – 235,773 streams per month
  • Kansas – $7.25 per hour – 235,773 streams per month
  • Kentucky – $7.25 per hour – 235,773 streams per month
  • Louisiana – $7.25 per hour – 235,773 streams per month
  • Maine – $12.15 per hour – 395,122 streams per month
  • Maryland – $11.75 per hour – 382,114 streams per month
  • Massachusetts – $13.50 per hour – 439,025 streams per month
  • Michigan – $9.65 per hour – 313,822 streams per month
  • Minnesota – $10.08 per hour – 327,805 streams per month
  • Mississippi – $7.25 per hour – 235,773 streams per month

Spotify Streams to Earn Minimum Wage by State – 2021 Cont’d

  • Missouri – $10.30 per hour – 334,960 streams per month
  • Montana – $8.75 per hour – 284,553 streams per month
  • Nebraska – $9 per hour – 292,683 streams per month
  • Nevada – $8.75 per hour – 284,553 streams per month
  • New Hampshire – $7.25 per hour – 235,773 streams per month
  • New Jersey – $12.00 per hour – 390,244 streams per month
  • New Mexico – $10.50 per hour – 341,464 streams per month
  • New York – $12.50 per hour – 406,505 streams per month
  • North Carolina – $7.25 per hour – 235,773 streams per month
  • Ohio – $8.80 per hour – 286,179 streams per month
  • Oklahoma – $7.25 per hour – 235,773 streams per month
  • Oregon – $12.75 per hour – 414,635 streams per month
  • Pennsylvania – $7.25 per hour – 235,773 streams per month
  • Rhode Island – $11.50 per hour – 373,984 streams per month
  • South Carolina – $7.25 per hour – 235,773 streams per month
  • South Dakota – $9.45 per hour – 307,318 streams per month
  • Tennessee – $7.25 per hour – 235,773 streams per month
  • Texas – $7.25 per hour – 235,773 streams per month
  • Utah – $7.25 per hour – 235,773 streams per month
  • Vermont – $11.75 per hour – 382,113 streams per month
  • Virginia – $9.50 per hour – 308,944 streams per month
  • Washington – $13.69 per hour – 445,204 streams per month
  • West Virginia – $8.75 per hour – 284,553 streams per month
  • Wisconsin – $7.25 per hour – 235,773 streams per month
  • Wyoming – $7.25 per hour – 235,773 streams per month

According to our math, artists in Washington D.C. need to make the most streams (487,805) per month to equal their minimum wage. Artists in California, Colorado, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon, and Washington all have to reach over 400,000 streams per month to make minimum wage.

9 Responses

  1. Avatar
    Anonymous

    DMN talks about this but not the thousands of musicians in the peaceful music revolution against it.
    What kind of journalism is that?
    Like talking about Covid for a year and never talking about the vaccines.
    DMN what’s going on? Who is controlling you guys. Who us telling you what you can cover in music and what you cannot?
    Can you be questioned on anything anymore!

  2. Avatar
    Roberto

    Peaceful revolution? 70% of Pro musicians have quit the business. An endless stream of ‘flavor of the month’ disposable junk music promoted and marketed to a mostly brainwashed generation. And 80% of fans now expect free music! Oh and don’t forget 800 million hobbyists added to the mix with every other Tom, Dick and Harry now calling themselves ‘musicians’

    • Avatar
      Keith Wilson

      Only people making money off streaming are the three record labels, labels did the same thing with CDs- made billions but paid the artist pennies.

  3. Avatar
    SF

    Now do YouTube, which offers a fraction of revenue rate that Spotify does, occasionally overtakes Spotify as the #1 streamer, and is owned by a company worth 20 times what Spotify is worth.

  4. Avatar
    Mike

    From what I can tell, the math is for a solo musician. Multiply streams by band members for each state.

  5. Avatar
    Sir Poopster

    This is sad. Daniel Ek and the record executives is in bed together splitting money. They need to get sued for ripping off artist.