It is common knowledge now that streaming has become the main source of musical digestion for the average listener. What is less known is that streaming platforms such as Spotify pay a significantly low percentage of revenue generated by streaming to the actual songwriters. 0.004 of a cent per stream to be exact. For context, this means that 1 million streams equals roughly $4,000. This alone highlights a serious disparity in the treatment of original artists. So why even upload your music? Why be a part of a platform that doesn’t support musicians? Many musicians have pondered this and decided to not be a part of platforms like Spotify. Instead they may upload their music strictly to Bandcamp where the revenue share is much better and far more supportive of the artists. However, in my opinion, this is a mistake. Here’s why:
Unless you are Justin Bieber, Spotify will likely never really yield enough income to support you entirely. In fact, I was consider yourself lucky if you earn enough to pay off your studio fees. However, what it does provide is incredible exposure and accessibility to your music. The platform itself, in my opinion, is brilliant and designed in a way that makes it easy for people to discover new music. This could be yours! Spotify playlists allow consumers to listen by a mood, feeling, idea or theme via playlists. Not only does this increase your chances of being heard, but it means you will be heard by the right audiences. These playlists have followings and these fans can in turn become yours. Spotify analytics then allows you to track your listeners and figure out where exactly your music is successful. For instance, if you have 20,000 monthly listeners in Paris, maybe it’s time you plan a tour to France. Spotify should be viewed less so as a source of income, but as a tool for to discover, build and connect with your audience. I suggest getting on as many platforms as you see relevant to your sound, goals and audience.
All the best,