I don’t know about you, but I’d be happy with an extra $500 – $1,000 a month from Spotify streaming…
But what if you wanted to make a living just from your Spotify streams alone? What would it take to generate a full-time income from Spotify?
In order to actually make a living from Spotify as an independent artist, there are 3 strategies you’ll want to master.
You can make a full-time income through Spotify streaming by releasing new music frequently, building up your own public playlists, and running ads on Facebook and Instagram to grow your listeners.
I’ll cover each of these three strategies a little later on in this post, but first off, how realistic is it to make a full-time income from Spotify streams?
Can you make a living on Spotify?
Pfft, well absolutely! Drake makes $52.5 million in Spotify earnings a year!
Isn’t that encouraging?
Err, yeah, not so much when you see he needs billions streams to get there.
So how about for us more normal people? Can we make a living from Spotify?
Other indie artists are making it happen, and when you do the math, you find it’s actually not too crazy of a goal.
How Many Spotify Streams To Make A Living?
Okay, let’s do the math. How many streams do you actually need a year to make a living from Spotify?
If you want to make a full-time income of $40,000 a year, then you would need to get roughly 10 million streams a year. This breaks down to 833,340 streams a month, or 27,778 streams a day.
Now, that still sounds pretty daunting…
But what if we’re dividing those 27,778 daily streams between 50 songs? That’s only 556 streams a day per song.
Or what if you had 100 songs published on Spotify? That’s only 278 streams per day per song.
If that still sounds like a lot, imagine you’ve gotten each of these songs on multiple playlists, each bringing you passive streams.
Does this require a lot of hard work? Definitely. Will it take some time? Most assuredly.
But it is also entirely possible if you have good music, and have nailed down your micro-genre.
Discover Your Micro Genre
Just click the button below to download a free worksheet to help you discover your micro genre so you can start to find your very own SUPERFANS.
Case Study: Alex Devon
Now, I’m not just pulling these strategies out of thin air.
I watched a fascinating interview between Andrew Southworth and Alex Devon (A.K.A. Young L3x), and during this interview, Alex Devon outlined how he makes a full-time income just from Spotify alone.
This post is meant to summarize his strategies, as well as add in some other tactics that other indie artists are using to generate REAL income from Spotify.
If you watch the interview, you’ll hear Alex Devon describe the three strategies he used to generate a full-time income from Spotify, and those strategies are:
- Release A Lot Of New Music
- Build Your Own Playlists
- Run Facebook & Instagram Ads
1. Release A Lot Of New Music (Especially Singles)
Alex has released A LOT of new music. And I mean a lot.
I may have counted wrong, but from looking at his Spotify profile, it appears he has released 110 songs since 2015. Although, he only released 3 songs in 2015, so it’s more like he released 107 songs in 6 years, which works out to nearly 18 songs a year, most of which are singles.
Also, most of his songs don’t have all that many streams, as most seem to be sitting in the 20,000 – 200,000 range, although he has three songs that have over a million streams, and other songs with as few as 3,500 streams.
What does all of this mean?
It means several things:
- The more songs you release, the fewer streams each song needs for you to make a living
- The more songs you release, the more chances you have at one of your songs “going big”
- The more songs you release, the more promotions you can run (especially if they are singles)
Think about it.
If you just released one 18-song album a year, you can really only promote that album one time, and only around its release. At most, you get a couple months of promotion out of all of those songs.
Plus, with all of those songs released at once, some might fall through the cracks.
But if you are releasing regular singles (1.5 a month), now you are able to promote new music every single month.
Your listeners stay engaged, and they hit the follow button on Spotify so they don’t miss any of your new releases.
Plus, with more music out there, you increase your odds of one of your songs really taking off.
What if only 1 out of 100 of your songs will ever get a million streams. If you only release a few songs a year, then it could take you decades to release that “hit”.
So, bottomline…release more music, especially singles.
2. Build Your Own Playlists
Alex also talked about the importance of building his own public playlists.
He created two such playlists (“Feels”, and “Deep”), and each currently have over 28,000 followers.
That’s A LOT of streams every month, every day, for the songs on those playlists.
What’s more, every song on each of those playlists are his own songs.
Whereas hearing just one song from an artist might only earn a save and that’s it, by driving people to these playlists (through Facebook & Instagram ads) people are able to spend more time with him as an artist, and actually become followers.
This is a process that not only gains you streams, but gains you fans who will stream every new song you release over and over.
So be sure to create some of your own public playlists, and experiment with trying to grow them
3. Run Facebook & Instagram Ads
Another key cog of Alex’s growth plan was Facebook & Instagram video ads which directed people off of these platforms and to the Spotify platform.
This is a strategy that takes some time to learn, as you not only need good music and a good ad/video, but you also have to make sure to target the right people.
Understanding your micro-genre will go a long way toward helping you with this.
Alex started out spending just $40-$60 a month, but eventually escalated to $500 a month, but he was actually able to make that money back just from the streams he was getting.
So if you can master Facebook & Instagram ads, then you can definitely start to grow your streams to the point where you are actually making a full-time income.
Bonus: Get On User-Generated Playlists
But, what if you can’t afford to run ads?
Well, there is another strategy you can use that a few other indie artists are starting to use to hack the Spotify algorithm and explode their streams, and that strategy is getting on user-generated playlists.
These are just playlists created by regular people like you and me, but when you get your music on enough of these, the Spotify algorithm takes note and says to itself, “Hey, this song is doing really well. It’s getting on a lot of playlists. I’ll try promoting it myself to people who like similar music and see how it does.”
This is when you can start getting your music promoted by Spotify through their algorithmic playlists, such as Release Radar, Discover Weekly, and more.
When this happens, your streams can really start to take off, which can even get you noticed by the Spotify editorial team so you music gets added to editorial playlists, which will keep the snowball of streams rolling even more.
And you can do this all without running ads, and completely for free.
If you want to learn how you can start this process by getting your music on user-generated playlists too, then grab my free Spotify Playlist Placement formula guide below.
In fact, when I started using this strategy myself, my own Spotify streams began to skyrocket.
The even better news is that you don’t need to make a full-time income from Spotify in order to make a living from your music.
Spotify can just be a discovery tool that gets fans into your world where they can eventually buy your merch, or join your fanclub.
So even if you don’t get to the point of making a full-time income, these strategies can still help you make a great part-time income.
I hope you got value from this post on how you man make a full-time income from Spotify, and that now the process doesn’t seem quite so impossible.
If so, feel free to share, and let me know in the comments below…