Spotify Founder and CEO Daniel Ek Discusses the Economics of Music Streaming
Since its 2014 low, the music industry has grown by 44%, driven primarily by streaming revenues, which increased 500% over this same period. In 2020 alone, Spotify paid $5B+ and makes up about 20% of global recorded music industry revenue, more than any other streaming service. That number is massive on its own, and it doesn’t include the other music streaming services, or other sources of music revenue.
Still, artists ask me all the time why they’re not making more money. If the music industry is generating so much, then where the hell is it going? These are fair questions. So, we’re launching a new site, Loud & Clear, to increase transparency and shed light on the complicated economics of music streaming.
Streaming is thriving and has been key to helping more artists find a global audience. There are more artists than ever before. That’s awesome. It means new genres, more music crossing borders, and more artists finding new fans. It also means new artists joining Spotify every day, along with the entire history of music that came before them. More artists want to share their art, reach fans and earn a living from music. And it’s happening.
From streaming on Spotify alone, we’re seeing growth from artists at all stages of their career: since 2017, the number of artists generating
- more than $50K/yr is up 80%
- more than $100K/yr is up 85%;
- and more than $1M/year is up 90%.
Today, 57K artists now represent 90% of monthly streams on Spotify — a number that has quadrupled in just six years. This means that the number of the most listened to artists in the world is growing and more diverse.
Our goal is to help musicians that aspire to be, or are professional to make a living. It’s something we take seriously every day. Of course not every one of the millions of artists on Spotify have found the same success. That will never be true. Fans will ultimately decide who succeeds and thrives, but our focus remains clear: Continue to create more opportunities for more artists to reach more fans.
We know we have much more work to do, but we’re confident in what we’ve built and the innovations we continue to deliver for artists and their fans. We’ll continue to empower the most talented artists in the world to turn their passion into a profession, grow the money paid to rights holders, diversify and expand the number of professional artists succeeding, and propel the music industry forward.