Spotify reveals how much it is paying to artists

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Music-streaming service Spotify has revealed how much it has paid out to artists thus far.

(Credit: Spotify)

In a bid for greater transparency, Spotify has established a website for artists that discloses how it distributes royalties. Spotify keeps around 30 per cent of its total revenue, distributing the "nearly 70 per cent" of the rest as royalties.

However, that 70 per cent goes to rights holders, including labels and publishers, who then distribute it to artists themselves. As mentioned on the site, Spotify has distributed US$1 billion in royalties since its launch in 2008, with US$500 million of that given out in 2013 alone.

The website breaks down exactly how royalties are calculated and wants to discourage artists from seeing revenue on a per-stream basis. However, the service did disclose that the average per-stream payout is between US$0.006 and US$0.0084, which covers both the free and subscription tiers of service.

Spotify and fellow streaming services have been the subject of criticism from many high-profile artists, including David Byrne and Thom Yorke from Radiohead.

Actual artist payments vs. projected earnings when there are 40 million paid subscribers using Spotify.
(Credit: Spotify)

No doubt these figures have been revealed in an attempt to woo back artists who have been skeptical about earning money from music streaming. As an example of potential revenue that could be earned, based on actual figures, a niche indie album was paid US$3300 in royalties in July 2013, while a global hit album received US$425,000.

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StevenC2 posted a comment   

I'm a big Spotify fan and gladly pay them each month. Discovered a lot of great music and I've had many hours of listening pleasure with Spotify.

Can't really think of any downsides. Listen to it in the car, on the john, in the office and in my study room across a variety of devices and equipment.


ADSLNerd posted a comment   

This whole "industry" is corrupt, and I don't support any DRM / Proprietary software / Streaming services. If I'm paying for music I want a copy of the file or album I purchase which I can play on anything I wish, and includes backing up my purchases to a CD as well which I have the right to do.

I suggest everyone reads the lies of the music industry, which they have tried to keep quiet for over 300 years since the Stationers of England - This is why the "industry" tries to shun torrent services, because they are afraid of losing distribution rights which these services provide for free. I will never support an industry based on a corrupt creative works system which is controlled by a few "select" people.


Chandler posted a reply   

You do know who owns CNET, right? :PIn all seriousness but - whilst I hate DRM with a passion, I've been a Spotify subscriber for a while now and love it - it's OnLive for music (not that us Aussies get to use that particular streaming service...)Good to see favourable figures for Spotify to spruke to potential artists.

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