Spotify Payouts to Artists Top $9 Billion for 2023 – Another New Record

Spotify paid out more than $9 billion in royalties to over 78,850 artists last year, the streaming giant said Tuesday.

Payouts have nearly tripled over the past six years as users have topped 600 million listeners, the Swedish company said in a post. Last year’s record brought the total it has paid to artists past $48 billion.

Notably, independent musicians generated nearly $4.5 billion. “This marks the first year ever that Indies accounted for about half of what the entire industry generated on Spotify,” or about half the 2023 total.” the company said. The figure represents a fourfold increase since 2017.

In fact, more than 10 million “uploaders” have at least a single track on Spotify, the company said. About 8 million of those have less than 10 tracks available. About 5 million have less than 100 total streams across all of their uploads.

Spotify said it is “focused” on the 225,000 or so emerging and professional artists who are building their careers and “dependent on streaming as part of their livelihood.”

The streaming giant said 1,250 of the artists who got a check received $1 million or more, or nearly triple the 460 who received that much in 2017. That threshold requires around 4-to-5 million monthly listeners or 20 to 25 million monthly streams.

Many are not “household names,” the company said, and “didn’t need a ‘hit’ song to have a big year.” Over 1,000 in this group didn’t even have a single that reached Spotify’s Global Top 50 all year.

Another 11,600 artists saw payouts of $100,000 or more, also about triple the number who got that amount in 2017.

But the vast majority of recipients, some 66,000, got less than $10,000 in royalty payments — in some cases as little as $1,000. In 2017, that number was 23,400.

Nearly half of those who saw $10,000 in royalties in 2017 from Spotify are now generating more than $50,000 on the streamer, the company said.

The data shows the dramatic jump in the number of artists whose music is available on the service as well as increased payments. Spotify said in a post on its website that more than half of the artists receiving royalties “are from countries where English is not the first language.” Spanish, German, Portuguese, French and Korean are the top languages after English. Hindi, Indonesian, Punjabi, Tamil and Greek all saw “huge upticks” in 2023, the company said.

More than 329,000 songs were streamed over 1 million times in 2023.

Spotify said it also paid out nearly $4 billion to publishing rights holders over the last two years.

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