Here are some interesting statistics about Spotify as of March 2021:
There are 4.47 million artists on Spotify who have at least 1 monthly listener.
The median acts (in the 50th percentile of popularity) have only 16 listeners.
Acts in the 80th percentile have 7100 listeners.
Interesting, right? Of that 4.47 million acts, how many acts would you guess made 6 figures ($100,000 or more?) The answer: .17%. A total of only 7800 acts made $100k+. To make that kind of money, these acts have at least 1 million monthly listeners.
13,000 acts have at least 500,000 mostly listers (read: making $50k/year) and 44,000 artist have at least 100,000 monthly listeners (read: making $10k/year.)
So that means artist who have TEN THOUSAND MONTHLY LISTENERS are only making ONE THOUSAND DOLLARS PER YEAR. Does that seem like a lot of listeners to have in return for a paltry income? It does to me!
Spotify is under a lot of scrutiny right now, and has been trying to create more transparency about the “complicated economics” of streaming payouts. Spotify has always said that the more money they make, the more they will be able to pay out to artists, and that certainly has shown to be true, but it seems like the winners take all.
870 acts made $1M last year, while 184,500 acts made $1k.
All that to say, if you have some favorite small and mid size artists who you love listening to on Spotify, consider connecting with those artists outside of Spotify and doing what you can to support them. Perhaps purchasing some merchandise to show some love, because if you’re one of only 10,000 or 20,000 people listening to them every month, they ain’t making much money from Spotify!
I’d love to hear anybody’s thoughts on this subject, so please drop a comment below.