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A Penny For Your Song? Spotify Spills Details On Artist Payments - Digits - WSJ

A Penny For Your Song Spotify Spills Details On Artist Payments Digits WSJ


Spotify on Tuesday unleashed a load of data,  revealing that each time a user listens for a song, rights holders are paid between $0.006 and $0.0084. Over the course of 2013, the company says it will have paid $500 million in royalties, representing half of the $1 billion Spotify sent to rights holders since setting up shop in 2008.

The stats were unveiled as part of a new Spotify Artists webpage, a site where rights holders can access analytics tools to track their performance on the streaming-music platform.


When the whole group of paid and unpaid clients is tallied up, Spotify says it generates an average of $41 per user, higher than the $25 that Spotify says the average U.S. adult pays for music in a given year.  As Spotify has grown, it has taken on an increasing amount of red ink. Last year, the company lost nearly $80 million. About 70% of the money taken in, Spotify says, goes right out the back door in the form of a payment to rights holders.


Spotify said its own service offers better returns to right holders compared to alternative digital music services. One million listens on Spotify generates between $6,000 and $8,400, which compares to about $3,000 on video streaming such as Google Inc.’s YouTube and between $1,300 and $1,500 on radio streaming services like that offered by Pandora Media Inc.

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That feels freaking expensive. 

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