How Much Does Spotify Pay Artists?

With millions of users each month, Spotify is the world’s leading music streaming platform. Daniel Ek and Co have been heavily criticized for their low payouts. Today, we will look at how much Spotify pays per stream and compare it to other streaming platforms. We will also discuss why you still should consider having your tracks on Spotify and how you can increase your earnings.

Music Royalties 101

Let’s start with some basics and discuss what music royalties are. Royalties are the earnings artists make when someone listens to their music. For every stream on Spotify, you’ll earn a small number of royalties that get paid out each month.


The rates depends heavily on subscription fees from subscribers and ad revenue from free users. If you’re an independent artist you get to keep 100% of your earnings. If you have a label or a music distributor, they will take a small percentage of your earnings.

How Much Does Spotify Pay Artists?

The pay varies a lot and Spotify doesn’t have any official documentation on what you can expect. Based on research we found that the current average pay per stream is approximately $0.004, but can range between $0.0032 and $0.0054. To put things into perspective:


  • You’ll need approximately 250 streams to earn a dollar
  • For 1 million streams you can earn somewhere between $3,200-$5,400


And Spotify has a low pay per stream compared to other music streaming platforms:


  • (Spotify: $0.004)
  • Apple Music: $0.00563
  • Google Play Music: $0.00551
  • Amazon Music Unlimited: $0.01196


You Should Still Have Your Tracks On Spotify

Even if the payout is considered low compared to Apple Music, Google Play Music, and Amazon Music Unlimited, Spotify is by far the biggest music streaming platform. According to Spotify’s website, they have 158 million paying subscribers and 198 million free users. They own 34% of the market and it’s a powerful tool that can help you get discovered.


The low payout aside, Spotify will help you promote your music and you have the potential to reach millions of new fans. Pitching your music into a relevant playlist is one of the most important things when it comes to music promotion.

Can I Increase My Earnings from Spotify?

Before answering that question we need to understand what has a positive effect on the royalty rates. As mentioned above, your average pay per stream varies depending on a lot of factors.


The most substantial factor is from which country the stream comes from. Streams from countries with a lot of paying subscribers have a higher average pay per stream than countries with a lot of free users. Norway, Denmark, and the UK have a lot of paying subscribers, compared to India, Argentina, and Brazil. Focusing your music efforts on these countries will have a positive impact on your earnings.


You can also maximize your earnings if you choose to promote your music without any labels or music distribution services.


This goes without saying, but releasing a lot of music on Spotify will result in more streams. Even if it doesn’t impact your average pay per stream, it will result in more fans and streams.


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