It’s never been harder for small artists to make a living, and streaming services aren’t making it any easier. It might seem like you’re not earning anything from streaming at the moment, but just how much money could you make if you were on a major Spotify playlist?
How much does Spotify pay?
It’s fairly well documented that Spotify’s pay rates aren’t exactly huge. Spotify claims to pay on average between $0.006 and $0.0084 per stream, however, many artists say the amount they actually receive is a lot less. Despite Spotify’s claims, the real average pay rate is thought to be around $0.00397.
Sadly, it gets worse. Artists with record labels and distributors will only be receiving a small cut of the revenue they generate which could be as low as 20%. That works out at less than $0.0008 per stream. Other factors also influence the value of streams – plays from free accounts are worth less than streams from paid accounts while streams from countries with weaker currencies are worth less than streams from countries with strong currencies.
How much can you make on a playlist?
All of this might sound a bit depressing, but it doesn’t mean there’s no money to be made in streaming. Major artists are making a killing on Spotify, but that doesn’t mean you need to be Drake or Taylor Swift to cash in. If an independent artist like you lands on a major Spotify playlist, you can end up racking up millions of streams, and finally make yourself some money from streaming.
Perrin Lamb, an unsigned singer-songwriter from Nashville, ended up on a Spotify playlist called Your Favourite Coffee House, and within a year had accumulated over ten million streams and earned himself more than $40,000.
How to get on a playlist
Obviously, before you get your music on a Spotify playlist, you need to get your music on Spotify. Fortunately, that can be easily done at minimal expense with the help of a music distributor. If you don’t have a distributor, check out our handy guide to music distribution here.
Now comes the difficult part: getting on a playlist. There is always the chance that someone will come across your music and add it to their playlist, but with so much music on Spotify, the odds are slim.
You should look for the playlists you think your music would be best suited to and try to get in touch with the curators. Playlist curators are inundated by artists sending them music, so you’ll have to grab their attention one way or another. Try sending a short, simple and personal email to the curator along with links to your music.
Alternatives to Spotify
Spotify isn’t the only streaming service out there, and although it might be the biggest platform, it certainly isn’t the most generous. Here are some of Spotify’s competitors that offer larger average payouts:
Apple Music: $0.00783
Amazon (Prime Music and Music Unlimited): $0.0074
Google Play: $0.00611
So don’t limit yourself to just Spotify. If you can get your music playlisted on some of the higher paying streaming sites you can start to earn some serious money from your music.