The real value of Spotify streams to artists
If you thought that Spotify streams brought in the dough, you are sorely mistaken.
Music streaming may be all the rage, but in terms of providing a salary to artists, it’s a dismal practice.
That being said, former web developer and musician Alex Leonard wanted to show people what their streams are buying artists, and it’s quite harrowing.
For the calculations, Alex used “figures from 2018 from a mid-sized indie label which generates almost 1 billion streams annually – enough of a data set to be considered fairly accurate,” he wrote.
Bearing in mind the figures are based on data on the cost of living in Berlin, the following items cost x amount in streams from Spotify.
-1 L of milk: 311 streams
– Bread for two people for a day: 386 streams
-Bottle of wine: 2,020 streams
-1 pair of shoes: 27,069
-Monthly minimum wage: 539,021 streams
“It’s worth noting that the payouts vary hugely between services, but I’ve selected Spotify as they account for the biggest share of overall payouts and are fairly synonymous as the service people think of when it comes to music streaming,” Alex says.
He also made a table showing the number of streams needed per streaming service to earn the monthly minimum wage in Germany (€1,593).
- Napster: 160,735
- Tidal: 192,466
- Deezer: 314,667
- Apple Music: 360,436
- Spotify: 539,021
- YouTube: 6,372,000
Of course, streaming earnings isn’t the sole source of an artist’s income.
Streams translates to show bookings, merchandise and other sources of revenue.
So, what can we do to help our beloved artist’s stay afloat?
We can buy directly from them, Bandcamp or switch to streaming services that pay out more. Of course, going to live shows is also a potent way of distributing revenue to your favourite artist.
Next time you buy something, remember that an artist would probably need hundreds or even thousands of streams to do the same.