How is Spotify profitable for song makers?

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You pay 10$ to listen to hundreds of songs a month, how can it possibly be profitable for artists?

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26 Answers

Anonymous 0 Comments

The idea, is that they make it up in volume. Spotify has over 100m premium users, so the idea of that artists get a share of that big ass pot, and unlike a single that you buy for a couple of dollars, they make money on every listen. Those ear worms that people play on repeat, or the song that’s in every runners playlist generates recurring revenue for the artists.

In practice, most artists are not super happy with the model. The category of musicians who’ve done best by the deal are the older ones, who’ve already sold the album, and the remaster, and are getting the recurring revenue on top for free (without it having impacted the original sales)

Anonymous 0 Comments

Maria Carey said on The Late Show recently that she makes 1/12th of a cent each time All I want For Christmas Is You is played. Which doesn’t seem like much considering it’s only played for a month each year.

But then you start thinking about how many million times it’s played each day. For each million times it’s played in a day, that’s over $25,000 for the month. So if it’s played 10 million times a day for a a month that’s over $250,000.

Of course, that’s an extreme example (and my maths are likely off by a bit). A normal song would be played through the year but not very often unless it’s a current hit. I guess as an artist you need to have many songs that get played frequently in order to generate any significant revenue.

Anonymous 0 Comments

You mean opposed to a much smaller amount of people just paying <$1.50 per song? And of course whatever slice of the pie the hosting site (say iTunes) takes, the record label, their manager, etc.

Artists don’t make a living off of streaming, nor did they ever make a living off of CD/record sales. Many don’t even make much money off of concert tickets. Their bread and butter has been and will be merchandise (which sell a lot at concerts), and of course paid sponsorships. It’s the same with social media personalities, their clothing, makeup, food, etc. is what keeps them afloat (and paid sponsorships as well). Rihanna has made magnitudes more from Fenty than she ever has from her music career.

Anonymous 0 Comments

The issue here that makes artists think that it is not profitable, is the same argument anytime a business model shifts.

They take a look at what they were making, before when they could sell an album, or even a single. And they multiply that based on how much interest their songs get in the new model and they figure that they are being screwed out of the difference.

But this is just a fantasy. If we went back to the old model (Which would never happen), only a fraction of the people who could afford a Spotify subscription would go out and buy all the same music that they listen to in a year. Sales for the entire industry would likely go down. For example, I happily pay for Spotify which means I pay $120/year on music. Before Spotify, I maybe, bought one album a year, and the odd single from iTunes Music. That is a huge increase in my music spending.

TLDR; individual artists pine for the “good old days” which were neither good nor old, the industry makes more money now then it did before, and people as always wish they had a bigger piece of the pie, deservedly or not.

Anonymous 0 Comments

It’s not really, they make way less, and it’s just nice TiVo see different kinds of music to be made. There’s a newer focus on shorter songs that get stuck in your head and play on loop, because that’s what gets listens and what makes money. And even then, it’s still nothing compared to how much album sales made.

Anonymous 0 Comments

it is not profitable at all for artists, aside from a few very popular ones. spotify is the worst deal in the music business for the artist.
getting five million streams can make you somewhere around $20, according a classical violinist: https://twitter.com/tasminlittle/status/1262323181228036097

Anonymous 0 Comments

The simple answer is it’s not. The only way they make any real money is when someone finds a new band they like or an old band has a new album. They listen to it on Spotify then go out and purchase the album. Other than that they make peanuts from Spotify.

Anonymous 0 Comments

For the price I pay for my Spotify subscription, I could buy somewhere around 10-15 CDs a year, maybe? Instead, I listen to maybe 4-500 different artists a year, and I’m constantly discovering and listening to new acts I’d never heard of before. The revenue share model for Spotify has a lot of problems, and small bands don’t get as much money as they should, but they’re still getting money from people like me who would’ve otherwise never bought a whole album.

Anonymous 0 Comments

It isn’t for most, at least not directly.

But it connects me to bands and artists I otherwise never would have heard which then I try to support by buying records/attending shows when possible.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Essentially, Spotify makes a deal to get rights to a giant catalog of songs just like radio stations do. They pay an upfront fee plus a bit extra for the songs that get played the most. Artists get part of the licensing fee and bonus depending on their contract with their record company. It works out to a tiny tiny amount unless the song is immensely popular (and even then, not a whole lot).

There are companies whose whole function is to make deals with record companies to resell access to the record companies’ artists’ songs. They cut deals, and the artists get a fraction.

In the end, the artist doesn’t get a whole lot – often close to nothing. They’ll make much more money touring, merchandising, and promoting things than they will from radio play and streaming services.