August 20, 2022

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Spotify’s 2021 royalty report paints a rose-tinted vision of the music streaming industry

3 min read

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Spotify is continuing its exertion to offer you some transparency to musicians who are disappointed with its streaming costs. The firm updated its “Loud & Clear” web page right now, offering a breakdown of some 2021 metrics for how artists, publishers, and rights holders truly make money off Spotify streams.

As 1 might be expecting, Spotify chooses to contact out below are favourable advancements in excess of 2020. Spotify compensated out more than $7 billion to artists, labels, and the other shifting items of the audio marketplace previous yr, up from $5 billion final calendar year. Around 16,500 artists’ catalogs earned at least $50,000 in royalties in 2021, when compared to 13,400 in 2020, and above 1,000 artists cracked $1 million from Spotify streaming for the to start with time (versus 870 artists hitting that significant watermark previous year). Meanwhile, above 52,600 artists earned at the very least $10,000 from Spotify streams past calendar year, in comparison to 42,500 in 2020.

And like previous 12 months, there’s continue to a calculator where artists (and followers) can enter their month-to-month listener count or track streams to see how their stats assess to the relaxation of Spotify.

Of system, Spotify seems to be exclusively buying quantities that showcase its contributions to the audio business in the ideal light-weight — practically nothing on the Loud & Clear web-site portrays Spotify’s royalty fees as nearly anything other than a internet favourable for the market, one thing that musicians evidently don’t see eye to eye on (as a recent protest in LA shows).

Spotify’s web-site emphasizes those major wins, but is quieter at highlighting the context of the much larger sized variety of artists who are not pulling in thousands of pounds each 12 months from the streamer. In accordance to Spotify, there are about 8 million artists on its platform, of which about 2.6 million have uploaded at minimum ten tracks. And of these 2.6 million artists, only 165,000 of them averaging at minimum 10,000 streams a month — compared to the 52,600 artists that Spotify states designed at minimum $10,000 by way of its platform very last yr, a gulf that speaks to the spectrum of success on the system.

The general growth is encouraging — but as Spotify grows a lot more well-liked, the relative numbers for “success” change. And specified that Spotify divvies out earnings primarily based on how properly a music or artist does compared to the relaxation of the system, it doesn’t just matter how well-known an artist’s catalog is — it’s how preferred it is when compared to all the things else on Spotify. The enterprise phone calls out as an illustration that in excess of 230,000 tunes broke 1 million streams in 2021, anything that would have been a rarified achievement back again in the service’s previously days when it experienced significantly much less listeners.

Spotify’s improved transparency is a great thing, specially as the audio marketplace continues to hold streaming platforms to growing scrutiny over how they pay artists. But there is clearly even now a ton of do the job to be accomplished in translating streaming songs results into financial accomplishment for most artists on the system.

Correction March 24th, 12:10pm: This article initially mentioned that Spotify did not give context for the selection of complete artists on its system as opposed to its revenue goalposts. That information and facts has been extra to this put up. We regret the mistake.

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