How much does Spotify pay for 1 million streams? The answer in 2023 is increasingly depressing — just ask Cradle of Filth frontman Dani Filth.
If you’re wondering how much Spotify pays for a million streams, the answer has only gotten worse since we covered a significant spreadsheet of royalties way back in 2016. It’s certainly no surprise to anyone following the topic, even over the past year, that artists are getting the short end of the stick when it comes to monetary compensation for the success of their own work on streaming platforms like Spotify.
Spotify has continually drawn criticism for various reasons, including the uphill battle new artists encounter to get noticed on the platform or the possibility of giving preferential treatment to AI-generated music — the list goes on.
Metal band Cradle of Filth frontman Dani Filth has even gone so far as to say he thinks Spotify’s practices are downright reprehensible — “the biggest criminals in the world” — in a new interview (translated by Blabbermouth) with Rock Hard Greece posted last week. Dani Filth sat down with host Sakis Fragos to discuss how the music industry, including consumers, has been negatively impacted by practices and standards laid forth by streaming leader Spotify.
“It’s been deteriorating ever since (…) I think 2006 was the year that everything swapped from being comfortable for musicians — well, not necessarily comfortable; it was never comfortable. But (it shifted to) just being a lot harder with the onset of the digital age, the onset of music streaming platforms that don’t pay anybody,” Filth remarked.
“I think we had 25, 26 million plays last year, and I think personally I got about 20 pounds, which is less than an hourly work rate,” says Filth, calling Spotify “the biggest criminals in the world.”
“I think people just have this amazing ability to (believe) that when you have stuff out there, like physical product, that you’re earning a fortune from it,” he continues. “They don’t realize you have so many people taking pieces of the pie — record company, management, accountants, blah blah blah blah.”
“And nowadays, the reason why people put out limited-edition vinyls and stuff, it’s for collectors — they’re the only people that buy it; other people just stream it for nothing.”
Filth also posited that such financial issues tied to “consumer entitlement” are a significant part of why many bands aren’t touring post-pandemic.
“Petrol’s gone up; tour bus hire’s gone up. The cost of living’s gone up. Yeah, it’s very hard for bands at the moment, but it doesn’t help when people just have this in-built idea that it’s not a privilege to get music, that music is something that should be given away free,” says Filth. “I don’t walk into someone’s shop and just pick up — I don’t know — a pack of bananas and say, ‘Well, these grow on trees, they should be free; I’m walking out with these.'”
“I’d be arrested for shoplifting. But it’s fine for people to download — even before albums are out, you find fans, like, ‘Oh, I’ve got a link to it,’ and they put it up, and then instantly any sales you’re gonna get from people buying it for a surprise are out the window because they’ve already heard it and then they just move onto the next thing.”
“The music industry is on its knees at the moment,” he concludes. “I still enjoy making music — don’t get me wrong; I love it — but yeah, the musician nowadays is finding a million things against them. It’s a hard time.”
Cradle of Filth signed with Napalm Records last year, and this March, they joined DevilDriver on the Double Trouble Live tour. Their latest live album, Trouble and Their Double Lives, was released in April and featured two new studio tracks, “She is a Fire” and “Demon Prince Regent.”