How Much Money Does Spotify Pay Artists?

How Much Money Does Spotify Pay Artists?

In the digital age of music consumption, streaming platforms like Spotify have become the primary means through which artists share their work with the world. However, the question of how much these platforms pay artists per stream has been a topic of intense debate and scrutiny. In this article, we’ll delve into the world of streaming royalties, exploring how much Spotify pay artists and how it compares to other major music streaming platforms.

Understanding Spotify Pay Per Stream to Artists

To understand how much Spotify pays artists, we first need to examine the pay-per-stream model. In 2021, Spotify’s average pay per stream in various countries ranged from approximately $0.00085 to $0.0055, with the highest rates in Norway and Denmark and the lowest in Brazil and Argentina.

Country Avg. Pay Per Stream ($)

Spotify's Average Pay Per Stream

It’s important to note that these rates can fluctuate over time and may vary depending on several factors, including the user’s subscription type and the location of the listener.

How do other music streaming platforms calculate streaming payouts for Artists?

Spotify is just one player in the music streaming industry, and other platforms have their own approaches to pay artists. Here’s a look at how some of the major streaming platforms stack up:

Apple Music

Apple Music boasts one of the highest payout rates, with an average of approximately $0.01 per stream. However, it’s important to mention that artists don’t receive this amount directly; instead, Apple Music distributes 52% of its ad revenue to labels.

Related Search: Apple Music vs. Spotify: Which is Better?


Deezer operates under a “Pay who you play” system, ensuring that subscriber payments go directly to the artists they listen to. However, payout rates can vary based on the listener’s location and subscription type.

Amazon Music

Artists on Amazon Music typically earn around $0.004 per play, though Prime Music subscribers pay significantly less, at approximately $0.00139 per stream. Artists can potentially earn more by selling their music on Amazon’s Digital Music Store.

Related Search: Amazon Music vs Spotify: A Comparison of Two Leading Music Streaming Platforms


Pandora’s payment model is complex, with artists receiving around $0.0013 per stream. However, royalties vary based on the stream tier, with ad-supported streams paid through SoundExchange and subscription-based royalties going to record labels.

Related Search: Spotify vs Pandora: Exploring the Battle of Music Streaming Platforms

YouTube Music

YouTube Music pays artists roughly $0.008 per stream, but the platform’s revenue from music videos can significantly boost earnings. A pay $7-10 per 1,000 impressions, though only a portion of views are monetized.

Related Search: YouTube Music vs Spotify: Two Leading Music Streaming Platforms


Tidal pays artists the most generously, with rates of up to $0.013 per stream, totaling $13,000 per million streams. Tidal’s artist-friendly approach includes additional royalties through Tidal Rising, based on subscription revenues.

Related Search: Spotify vs Tidal: Two Leading Music Streaming Platforms


Qobuz pays artists approximately $0.043 per stream, based on 2018 data. Notably, the platform reduced its share of artist royalties during the pandemic to support smaller artists.

Related Search: Spotify vs Qobuz: Which is Better?

How do other music streaming platforms calculate streaming payouts?

How Much Does Spotify Pay Artists for 1 Million Streams?

Calculating Spotify earnings for a million streams isn’t straightforward, as it depends on several variables. At an average rate of $0.0032 per stream, a million streams would generate $3,200. However, artists often need to share these earnings with songwriters, bandmates, and managers, which can significantly reduce the final payout.

How Many Spotify Streams Do Artists Need to Earn Minimum Wage?

Earning the minimum wage through streaming can be challenging, given the relatively low per-stream rates. In the United States, where the federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour, you would need to earn $290 per week or $15,080 per year.

With a higher-than-average rate of $0.0032 per stream, you’d need at least 2,792,593 streams per year to make minimum wage. If your average rate is closer to $0.0032 per stream, you’d require 4,712,500 streams.

How Do Spotify Royalties Compare to Other Platforms?

While Spotify’s artists average rate per stream isn’t the highest, it’s not the lowest either. In 2020, Spotify pay approximately $0.00318 per stream, slightly below Amazon Prime’s average rate of $0.00339. This rate was significantly better than YouTube’s, which ranged from $0.00087 to $0.00802.

In the same period, Apple Music paid artists an average of $0.00563 per stream, with Google Play Music close behind at $0.00551. Amazon Music Unlimited offered the highest average payout at $0.01196 per stream.

Artist Earnings on Music Streaming Platforms

To provide some context, here’s a look at the total streams and earnings of a few notable artists on various platforms:

Artist Earnings on Music Streaming Platforms

Music Streaming Platform Market Share

Finally, let’s take a look at the market share of major music streaming platforms:

  • Spotify: 34%
  • Apple Music: 21%
  • Amazon Music: 15%
  • Tencent apps: 12%
  • YouTube Music: 5%
  • Others: 13%


While Spotify artists pay per stream may not be the highest, the platform remains a significant player in the music streaming industry. Artists’ earnings can vary widely based on factors such as location, subscription type, and platform. As the music streaming landscape continues to evolve, understanding these nuances is crucial for artists looking to monetize their music effectively.

Related Search: Spotify for Artists


Ques. How often do streaming platforms update their payout rates? 

Ans. Streaming platforms can update their payout rates periodically, but the frequency may vary from platform to platform. It’s essential for artists to stay informed about any changes.

Ques. Can independent artists negotiate better payout rates with streaming platforms? 

Ans. In some cases, independent artists may have the opportunity to negotiate better payout rates, especially if they have a substantial following or unique circumstances. However, this is relatively rare.

Ques. Do streaming platforms pay differently for exclusive content? 

Ans. Yes, some streaming platforms offer higher payouts for exclusive content or limited-time releases. This can incentivize artists to collaborate with specific platforms.

Ques. Are there any strategies artists can use to maximise their earnings from streaming platforms? 

Ans. Yes, artists can employ various strategies to boost their streaming revenue, such as promoting their music, engaging with fans, and exploring exclusive partnerships.

Ques. Is there a minimum threshold for artists to receive payouts from streaming platforms? 

Ans. Yes, most streaming platforms have a minimum payout threshold. Artists need to accumulate a certain amount of earnings before they can request a payout, which helps cover transaction fees and administrative costs.

  • By understanding the intricacies of streaming royalties and the differences between platforms, artists can make informed decisions about where and how to distribute their music for the best financial outcomes.

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