In recent years, Spotify has become a key platform for artists to earn money. Whether you're just starting out or have been in the industry for a while, it's important to know how streaming platforms like Spotify pay artists for their music. Now you can find various different amounts online about what Spotify pays out per stream, that couldn’t be further from the truth. This is why we at dig dis!, an official Spotify preferred partner, want to shed some light on this question. Let's take a closer look at how much Spotify actually pays for a single stream in 2023.
Factors that affect Spotify's payment per stream
At first glance, figuring out how much Spotify pays for each stream might seem simple, but it's actually quite complex. The amount an artist gets paid for a stream isn't the same every time and depends on several factors.
Type of listener and payment plan
The payment artists get varies depending on whether someone uses the free version of Spotify (with ads) or the premium version. Also, the specific payment plan the listener is on can affect the artist's earnings. So for instance streams generated from a family plan account can be different from a student plan account, etc.
Where listeners are from
The country where a listener is located matters. Spotify has different payment plans for different countries, which means the payout for a stream can differ depending on where the listener is.
Length of stream
Not all plays are counted the same way. For a play to count fully, the song needs to be listened to for at least 30 seconds. If a song is skipped before that, it will not be paid out.
Understanding "Discovery Mode"
Spotify's "Discovery Mode" is a recent addition that can boost a song's visibility but comes with a trade-off. While your song gets more attention, Spotify takes a share of the earnings. Check out our blog post for more details on this feature.
Impact of music distributors
A distributor (in other words: The company that helps distribute an artist's music to Spotify, also takes a cut of the earnings). This share can vary depending on the agreement between the artist/label and the distributor. Some distributors, like we at dig dis!, have direct deals with Spotify that lead to higher earnings per stream, whereas other distributors might use deals from other services who will participate in the revenue share as well. Therefore always get in touch with distributors prior to accepting or signing any agreements and ask them if they have a direct deal with Spotify.
Estimating Spotify earnings and royalties
Having outlined all of these factors, it's hard to give an exact number. However a rough estimate for what Spotify pays per stream is usually somewhere between $0.003 and $0.005.
In summary, understanding how much Spotify pays for a single stream involves considering different listener types, where they're from, the length of their streams, and the distributors. While the exact amount can be tricky to predict, being on top of how things work in the industry, helps artists navigate the streaming world better and make smart decisions about how to get their music out there.