Spotify Finally Responds to Thom Yorke

Posted 04 Dec 2013 in Industry Insights

Several months ago, infamous rocker Thom Yorke of Radiohead and Atoms for Peace made some harsh claims about Spotify, the world’s premier music streaming service. Yorke portrayed Spotify as the “gatekeeper” for modern day music, and criticized Spotify for their harsh payments of artists. As it turns out, rather than paying artists a set amount per stream, Spotify adjusts the streaming rate based on what percentage of streams from that month were from the artist. As you can imagine, a niche indie band that only gets 1,000 hits a month is going to receive less money per stream than internationally known stars. According to Yorke, this polarized music, and makes it nearly impossible for smaller acts to actually make any money using the service.


Finally, months later, Spotify has officially responded to Yorke by releasing some figures. According to them, the average niche indie artist makes approximately $3,300 per month. This translates to somewhere around $0.006 per stream. Larger acts, on the other hand, typically reach $425,000 per album per month. This puts them somewhere around $0.0085 per stream.


This discrepancy doesn’t seem like a lot, but then again, this is only between a niche artist and large act. What about a superstar? Well, Spotify also revealed that French duo Daft Punk made $108 million dollars between June and August, and also noted that only 78.6 million people streamed the song during that period. Some simply math tells us this is around $1.37 per stream. In our opinion, numbers like this don’t really help Spotify’s case and really highlight the chasm between superstars and regular acts, but we would love to hear your thoughts on the matter in the comments section below.

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