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Artists have a 0.2% chance of making $ 50ka per year on Spotify. Let’s start this index around.


MBW’s Stat Of The Week is a series in which we show why a single data point deserves the attention of the global music industry. Statistics of the week supported by Band Cinq, a technology-based rights management, distribution and record label company.


Yesterday (March 18), MBW reported 13,400 artists generate more than 50,000 dollars each in royalty payments (records plus publish) from Spotify in 2020.

That number 13,400 – revealed on new Spotify Loud & clear website – almost double the equivalent seen in 2017.

If you extrapolate along the same growth trajectory, we can expect to see about 25,000 artists making $ 50k a year from Spotify by 2023 … and nearly 50,000 artists hitting a milestone in their time. period of 5 years (2026).

On the castle full of wisdom, calmness and enlightenment is Twitter, the response to this story is … a great anger.

Within minutes, angry tweets appeared rampant, with MBW itself allegedly the “credible” mouthpiece for Spotify’s misinformation.

As any of our regular readers will know, we have a right to be here. Whether it is beat Spotify for its appeal against an increase in the salary of a musician in America; warns the artists against Spotify’s direction on podcast investment; Go deep into Spotify’s annual loss; Spotify’s curator host tell the world why pay more for creators; reveals Spotify’s silent removal of it The ‘Secret Genius’ fig leaves are mute; reveals Spotify’s plans use AI technology to read and manipulate your emotions; right scolded Spotify for the infamous ‘fake artists’ filling its mood playlist (which we actually had a public argument with the agency); provide a speaker for callers on Spotify to overhaul its billing system; or do not stop monitoring Worrying slide on Spotify’s ARPU number Right across the floor … well, without a doubt, we’re sipping our colostrum Daniel ekcorporate messages everyday. Obvs.

The more pertinent criticism is thrown in our headlines (‘How many artists are making more than $ 50k on Spotify? Over 13,000 ‘) contains variations on this type: “Only 13k out of 1.2 f *** ing million.”


MBW STATISTICS OF THE WEEK: An estimated 0.2% of musicians on Spotify are making more than $ 50,000 in royalties per year on the platform. This is five times more likely than association-level players to be paid as professional players.

Before we get into the detailed data, let’s fix the math first. Because if you think Spotify is fooling the artists, the real number is much worse.

Last month, Daniel Ek revealed that there are more than 8 million creators who have works on the Spotify platform.

As we pointed out at the time, his use of the word “creator” here purposefully included both the broadcaster and the recording artist. But removing Spotify’s public numbers for its podcasts, MBW estimates with confidence There are currently about 7 million artists using their music on Spotify.

Thus: 13,400 artists generate more than 50ka dollars per year for a total of 7 million activities. This means only 0.2% Artists on Spotify are making $ 50k a year (a figure that roughly equates to the average annual US salary).

But how bad is this 0.2% in practice?


Rock around the numbers

This is an interesting data point. According to a survey by the global FIFA Big Count, there is 265 million soccer players association level (soccer) globally in 2006, the number had grown to 23 million in the previous six years.

Therefore, it is fair to assume that today, 15 years later, there are more than 320 million users of the association worldwide.

We are not talking about the football players in the park (this number will be much higher): we are talking about the footballers recognized by the association who play the game at a level that requires referees, Corner flags, goals, nets … and assist the tired spouse stand on the line, with better things to do.

Do you know how many soccer / soccer players globally play with one profession – as in, actually being paid anything for it – what extent?

According to one FIFA 2019 survey, that is 128,983, over 187 countries. (The country with the most experts is Mexico, followed by Brazil and then the UK.)

See where we are going?


In short: we have a FIFA survey that shows that around 325 million people have the right to identify themselves as “football players” today.

And we have 128,983 people really getting paid (something) to become professional soccer players around the world.

Consequently, your average footballer’s chances of being paid (something) for work they love and enjoy are approximately equal. 0.04%.

That’s a small fraction (about a fifth) of the chance (0.2%) that an artist makes $ 50k or more per year on Spotify today.

And a very small part (about 1/15) chance (0.6%) that an artist makes $ 10k or more per year on Spotify today.


Reality? Is that you?

The fact is, just like telling people that you are a “football player”, identifying yourself as a “recording artist” today does not require any barriers to entry (except for some free software). fees and TuneCore account).

That doesn’t automatically mean you’ll make more money than an hobbyist – no matter how upset you are – and that certainly doesn’t mean your music deserves close. $ 50k on Spotify for a set year.

What is certainly true is that streaming has made achieving “professional” sales of recorded music a more competitive pursuit than ever before. The reality is that a new track hits Spotify almost every second of the day Tell you all you need to know.

For example, an artist can feel the big milestone in popularity has been reached, when they pass 1,000 monthly listeners on Spotify. Loud & clear showed us that 1.2 million artists were there.

Understandably, an artist can also feel a massive success achieved with 100,000 monthly listeners on Spotify. Loud & Clear showed us that 44,000 artists were there.


Then, it’s an uncomfortable but must-be-admitted fact: just like playing soccer, creating and releasing recorded music is extremely common, because it provides the degree of the personal expression, happiness, and achievement that millions of people aspire to.

But that doesn’t make it a career. And it certainly doesn’t make anyone who embarks on it special.

The truth is, as Spotify’s new stats prove, the artists get eleven cents. Seven million a cent.

However, we live in an era when a crowd of self-identified artists with relatively rapid popularity are making sales pitches about their inability to buy a car with the proceeds .


To be clear, there are a ton of useful and healthy arguments about the stats Spotify just put on ether.

Above my head, here are a few of them:

  • Can Spotify’s distribution of royalties be achieved with a user-centric or alternative one?
  • Spotify doesn’t pay artists directly. How much of the $ 50k out of these 14,300 artists are earning from payments being held by distributors, brands, publishers and professionals? Is this a reasonable rate?
  • Should Spotify raise prices worldwide to create a larger royalty?
  • Spotify said it paid about $ 5 billion last year to the music industry. But publishers (and musicians) get much less money than labels (and artists). Does Spotify really have no money to pay publishers / musicians more of this equation – or does it just run its business recklessly?
  • On that point, what the hell is Spotify doing trying to make money they pay musicians with Legal appeal in the US?
  • Currently, there is no transfer of value from Spotify’s growth in market capitalization on the NYSE to creators making its platform viable. Really not even on behalf of Such a move?
  • Does Spotify’s manipulation of its own playlists act as an anti-competitive income blocker for artists in certain deals and in certain genres?

The list goes on and MBW will continue to delve into these points whenever they are well prepared.

But like we were is written firstWe cannot go on as an industry pretending that every music and every artist’s work is of equal value. It’s not just that simple; It is cruel.

Basically, in order to have a bigger debate about all of the above, we first need to achieve something very basic: a simple difference between famous musicians, potentially famous musicians. language and hobbyists. And an acceptance that the latter is by far the most populous.

It’s an uncomfortable, sure process, but only at the end can we get a really clear picture of who might or might not be more “worthy” from streaming.

Feel free to argue with each other about this. Or do it on Twitter, where your anger and teeth grinding really make billionaire Jack Dorsey richer with every drop of new text.

I am standing on the communication line, tired.


The performances of Cinq Music Group have won Grammy Awards, dozens of RIAA Gold and Platinum certifications, and many No.1 positions on many Billboard charts. Its repertoire includes heavyweights like Bad Bunny, Janet Jackson, Daddy Yankee, TI, Sean Kingston, Anuel, and hundreds of other artists.Worldwide music business

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