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How Big Artists Hack Spotify

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As of right now, a single stream on Spotify pays roughly $0.0035 and it doesn’t look to be changing anytime soon.

How do artists make more money from Spotify?

Think of your favorite artist. When was the last time you listened to them? What about before that? You probably don’t listen to one artist all that much.

We can assume the average person listens to a single artist they like once a month, but as time goes on we assume that people listen less frequently as newer music gets released,.

So, if you have 100 followers on Spotify. Your album, in theory, would get played 1200 times a year (100 followers x 12 times a year) If there are 10 songs on an album; this means 12,000 streams per year = $42 per year. So, does every 100 followers guarantee $42/year?

$4 per follower?

The answer unfortunately is no.

Here are some random examples using real data:

via: royalties-calculator.com
via: royalties-calculator.com

You could argue that pop music is more disposable by listeners and therefore a follower would be less valuable; however, that’s not the case here. If you look above you can see listeners are equally valuable across genres.

So what makes certain listeners more valuable?

Our best guess is the frequency of material or albums released. This could mean, to make more money from streaming, an artist needs a consistent flow of new and recurring listeners.


You can see above there are correlations between albums released and amounts earned per fan. This makes sense. More content = more money. The more you stay relevant to your audience the more likely they are to listen to you more frequently. The more content out the more reason you have to tour, play shows and engage new material; furthermore, while they are engaged they probably revisit old favorites as well.

If you’re looking for an alternative streaming service that pays artists more than Spotify, check out our article here.

What do you think?

Written by Mason Quesnel

Mason Quesnel is a music industry veteran who's performed on major festival stages and corporate events across 10 countries. His accolades include winning Yamaha's National Songwriting Competition and Key's To The Juno's. He was also recognized as Top Bands to Watch for by The Horseshoe Tavern in Toronto Ontario; furthermore, reviewed by media outlets such as Alan Cross, CBC, Raine Maida of Our Lady Peace, The LCBO and has had his music appear in TED Talks.

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