870 Artists’ Catalogs Generated Over $1 Million In Revenue Through Spotify Streams In 2020

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870 Artists’ Catalogs Generated Over $1 Million In Revenue Through Spotify Streams In 2020

Spotify’s new “Loud & Clear” initiative details how artists are getting paid by the streaming service.


Spotify has launched a new website called “Loud & Clear,” a transparency initiative that reveals data on how the service’s streams are determined and paid out. The website has lots of information to dive into, but one particularly interesting bit is how much money artists are generating through royalties on Spotify.


According to the data, there are only 870 recording artists whose catalogs have generated enough recording and publishing royalties to earn at least $1 million dollars in 2020. That’s a 90 percent increase since 2017 when only 450 artists earned such a feat.


The numbers grow exponentially as you zoom out. The site reveals 7,800 artists have earned at least $100,000 (an 85 percent increase from 2017), while a much larger 184,500 artists have earned at least $1,000 (a 105 percent increase).


There’s another interesting statistic in regards to plays: over 207,000 songs were streamed at least one million times in 2020 alone and 550,000 songs have been streamed a million times in Spotify’s history. Even scoring 10 million streams won’t put you in the elite company, since over 78,000 songs have achieved that feat so far. In fact, Spotify claims at least 100 songs have now scored over one billion streams.


Spotify’s goal may have been transparency, but what the data highlights is that while streaming helped the music industry rally back to making over $20 billion in total revenue in 2019 (up from $14 billion in 2014), the nature of a streaming hit is evolving. Streaming has become the dominant format of music consumption and Spotify boasts 345 million users. More users make it easier to score a million streams, but a million streams in 2020 is not same as it was in 2015. Having more paying users has also led to more artists making more money, but less than a thousand artists are making millions.


Check out Spotify’s Loud & Clear website which also answers questions about stream shares, per stream rates, and how artists and songwriters get paid.