How much exactly do music artists get paid per stream on Spotify?

Spotify pays artists between $0.003 - $0.005 per stream on average. Exactly how much Spotify pays you per stream depends on factors such as the country of the stream, time spent listening, and what percentage of streams you bring in to Spotify. This works out as an approximate revenue split between the artist and Spotify of 70/30. 

Yikes! That probably sounds pretty bad. But keep reading because in the rest of this article, not only will I further break down how Spotify pays artists...

But I'll also cover how you can increase your earnings and your streams, and actually use Spotify to your advantage as a music artist.

How Much Does Spotify Pay Per Stream In 2022?

In my research for this article, I found a lot of different sources giving a lot of different numbers for how much Spotify pays per stream.

This is because this number isn't fixed. How much you earn depends on what percentage of the total streams you earn, what country those streams came from, and other factors.

So the more streams you get, the more you'll get paid per stream

That said, after looking at my own streams and how much I was paid, I'm earning at a rate of about $0.003 per stream.

My fanbase is still very small at the writing of this article though, so I'm a little on the low end of the spectrum.

Here's how Spotify puts it: 

We calculate streamshare by tallying the total number of streams in a given month and determining what proportion of those streams were people listening to music owned or controlled by a particular rightsholder. Spotify does not pay artist royalties according to a per-play or per-stream rate; the royalty payments that artists receive might vary according to differences in how their music is streamed or the agreements they have with labels or distributors. - Spotify

By the way, if you want to learn how to trigger the Spotify algorithm, get your music onto more playlists, and explode your Spotify streams...

Then grab my free Spotify Playlist Placement cheatsheet here.

Get Your Songs On Spotify Playlists

Click below to download my free guide covering a simple formula you can follow to get your songs on Spotify playlists and explode your streams without spending a dime! 

But how exactly does Spotify calculate who makes what? 

How Does Spotify Pay Their Artists?

how does spotify pay artists

Spotify pays out according to what they call “stream share”.

Stream share works by looking at the total streams on Spotify in a month in a country, and figuring out what proportion of those streams were yours.

Stream share determines your cut of the revenue. It’s like divvying up a pie.

Let’s say there were 1,000,00 streams last month, and you had 100,000 of those streams. If that was the case, then you would get 10% of the revenue pool/pie.

How much you get paid will also vary if you are signed to a label or there are people who have writing or recording rights to your music.

Below is a video from Spotify explaining this in more detail.

How long does Spotify take to pay artists?

In most cases, Spotify royalty payments are made once a month, but exactly when and how much artists get paid depends on their agreements with their record label or distributor.

In other words, Spotify will typically pay your distributor or record label once a month, and then these entities will pay you according to whatever agreement you have with them. 

For example, I use DistroKid for my distributor, and after requesting a withdrawal, I receive my payments within 1 to 14 days. 

If you want to learn more about what makes DistroKid the best music distributor, then check out my article here

How to grow your Spotify streams

The best way to grow your Spotify streams is to get your music on to more Spotify playlists. The more playlists you get on, the more likely you are to trigger the Spotify algorithm so that the platform starts to promote your music for you.

If you want to learn how to get your music on to more Spotify playlists, for free, then grab my free cheatsheet here.

Get Your Songs On Spotify Playlists

Click below to download my free guide covering a simple formula you can follow to get your songs on Spotify playlists and explode your streams without spending a dime! 

When I first released my music to Spotify...

A tiny part of myself held out hope that one of my songs would "blow up" and get hundreds of thousands of streams, catapulting my music career...

Even though I had no fans to speak of.

I've since learned Spotify doesn't work that way.

Sure, Spotify WANTS to share your music with new people, but first, you have to give Spotify what IT wants.

What does Spotify want, and how do you give it?

That's what I cover in my article here.

Consider this your ultimate guide to growing your Spotify streams.

I break down 22 tips for getting more Spotify streams for free. 

Spotify Royalty Calculator

If you're looking for a simple calculator you can use to see how many streams you need to hit your income goals, then just click below.

Or, you can check out some of the key streaming and income milestones in the charts below...

Streaming Milestones to Income


Estimated Income









1 Million


1 Billion


Streams You Need To Hit Key Income Milestones

Desired Income/Month

Streams Needed Per Month





$1,257 (Minimum Wage)




$4,917 (U.S. Median Income)


$8,333 (6-Figure Income)




How much does spotify pay for 1000 streams?

1,000 streams on Spotify would earn you about $4.

How many Spotify Streams Equal $1?

You would need about 250 streams on Spotify to earn $1.

How many Spotify Streams Equal $1,000?

You need to get 250,000 streams on Spotify in order to make a $1000.

How much does spotify pay for 10,000 streams?

Spotify would pay you about $40 for 10,000 streams.

spotify Streams you need to earn Minimum wage

It would take roughly 314,250 streams a month on Spotify to earn minimum wage in the U.S.

Wouldn't it be amazing to actually earn minimum wage passively from your Spotify streams?

It might not be enough to quit your day job, but an extra $15 G's a year would certainly help!

In 2020, the Federal minimum wage is set at $7.25 per hour in the United States.

And 2,080 annual hours worked is considered a full-time job, so after doing some simple math, an annual income on minimum wage is $15,080.

Or $1,257 a month.

If we say your revenue per stream is $0.004 on Spotify, then you would need roughly 314,250 streams a month to earn minimum wage.

That still sounds like a ton, but if you had 100 songs on Spotify, all of which got placed on relevant playlists so that each song brought in roughly 3,000 streams a month...

Then you would actually hit what you need for minimum wage. 

If you need help publishing more songs to build up your catalog, or you want help getting your music on more playlists, then just grab one (or both) of my free guides below...

spotify Streams you need to earn a full-time income

You would need about 833,250 streams a month to earn a full-time income of $40,000 a year. If you have 100 songs on Spotify, then you would need each song to bring in 8,336 streams a month to earn a full-time income. 

Needless to say, that's a lot of streams, which is why I don't recommend you seek to monetize through Spotify alone. 

Spotify should just be one piece of the puzzle. Other ways of monetizing your fanbase include:

  • Merch
  • Fan clubs/Membership sites
  • Sync licensing
  • physical albums or records
  • Live events (online or in person)
  • And many more!

If you want to learn the top 7 ways of monetizing your fanbase, then see my article here.

Otherwise, if you really want to work to make a full-time income from Spotify streams alone...

Then check out my article here, where I break down how one independent artist actually earns a full-time income from Spotify alone. 

How Does Spotify Compare To Other Streaming Platforms In Terms Of Pay

When it comes to pay, Spotify is about middle-of-the-road when compared to other streaming platforms, as you will earn more per stream than on Amazon, Pandora, or YouTube, but less than Apple Music, Google Play, or Napster.

streams to make a dollar

Here is how breaks down the different platforms...

Desired Income/Month

Streams needed per month

# of streams to earn $1

# of streams to earn minimum wage*









Apple Music




Google Play 
























* U.S. monthly minimum wage of $1,257  **Premium tier

Which Streaming Platform Is The Best For Artists?

Spotify is hands down the best streaming platform for artists. Though Spotify is only middle-of-the-road when it comes earnings per stream, the audience on Spotify and discoverability tools make it the best streaming platform for artists. 

Let's face the music, it's going to be very challenging, if not impossible, to make a solid income from streaming. 

Therefore, you should instead look at streaming platforms as discoverability tools, and with that in mind, Spotify is easily the winner. 

While there may be other platforms that pay more, they don't have the audience, and the discoverability factors like Spotify has. 

According to, as of May 2020, Spotify now has...

  • 286 million monthly active users
  • 130 million of these are premium subscribers
  • Spotify can lay claim to 36% of the global streaming market
  • 44% of users listen to Spotify on a daily basis
  • Average users listen to 41 unique artists per week

What these stats show are two things...

  1. Lots of people listen to Spotify, and
  2. People are finding new artists on Spotify

These two factors are why I say Spotify is the best streaming platform to be on in 2022.

And if you want my complete guide for growing your Spotify streams for free...

Then check out my article here: 22 Tips For Getting More Spotify Streams For Free (Ultimate Spotify Guide).

But, probably the ultimate way to explode your streams, overnight, is to get your music on to Editorial playlists.

You can check out my article here on how to get your music onto Spotify editorial playlists. 

Wait, But What Actually Counts As A Stream?

We've been talking a lot about streams, so it's important to know what Spotify actually counts as a stream. 

Spotify counts streams on repeat as long as that song has been listened to for 30 seconds or more before the song is played again. Spotify will count streams on repeat, as streams are not counted based on what song was streamed previously.

So if someone listens to one of your songs for at least 30 seconds, and then listens to it again for at least 30 seconds, then that would count as 2 streams.

To learn more about how Spotify counts streams (including streams on repeat or while muted), see my article here.

How To Grow Your Spotify Streams For Free

As you've probably deduced, it takes A LOT of streams every month to earn any kind of real sustainable income from Spotify. 

But it's certainly possible if you can get your songs on enough Spotify Playlists.

In fact, I've discovered a system that has helped me to get my songs on quite a few Spotify Playlists without having to spend a dime. 

grow spotify streams

By getting your music on user-created playlists on Spotify, you can start to rapidly grow your streams, and even trigger the Spotify algorithm so that Spotify itself starts to show your music to more people. 

If you want to learn my simple approach to getting your music on Spotify playlists for free...

Then just grab my simple guide below!

Get Your Songs On Spotify Playlists

Click below to download my free guide covering a simple formula you can follow to get your songs on Spotify playlists and explode your streams without spending a dime! 

My Favorite Tools & Resources For Growing A Fanbase Online

DistroKid - Best Digital Distributor For Musicians

I've tried out and explored a several different music distributors, but haven't found any as good as DistroKid. DistroKid is designed to help indie artists succeed with its' affordable pricing plans that allow you to upload unlimited music to streaming platforms and digital stores. 

ConvertKit - Best Email Marketing Tool For Musicians

Better than social media followers or even Spotify followers are email list subscribers. Email list subscribers are an audience of fans that you own and control (social media platforms can't take them away from you). Plus, these are fans that are engaged, and far more likely to buy from you, or join your membership. You will need an email autoresponder tool to get started with email marketing, and ConvertKit is the best one I've found for musicians.
spotify growth course

Discover How To Generate Your First $1,000 A Month From Spotify In Just 30 Minutes A Day

This is my complete course walking you through how to get your music on Spotify playlists so that you can hack the algorithm and explode your Spotify streams. 
merch for music artists

Best Print-On-Demand Merch Provider

One of the best ways to monetize your fanbase is to offer them merch, but it can be expensive to buy a bunch of merch items in bulk that you're not even sure will sell. The solution is print-on-demand or what is otherwise known as "dropshipping". All you do is list merch items on your site that you design through Printful, and then Printful will handle the creation and shipping of your products. It's that simple! I've been using Printful for years, and love them.
podia for musicians

Podia - Best All-In-One Membership Platform

Another fantastic, and often overlooked, method for monetizing your fanbase is to offer courses to your fans. You could teach on how to play a specific instrument, how to write lyrics, or anything related to music or other skills you've developed. Podia is a course platform that will allow you to host your courses and receive payments. 

Not only that, but Podia also has email marketing built in, and can even allow you create your own membership (like Patreon) to collect on-going payments from your fans. 

Another awesome perk of Podia is that it allow you to charge for live online events, so if you wanted to host a virtual concert or listening party, you can use Podia to collect payments from your fans and grant them access to your live event.  

Reagan Ramm

Hi! I'm Reagan, and I've been writing, recording, and mixing music since 2011, and got a degree in audio engineering in 2019 from Unity Gain Recording Institute. I also work full-time in Digital Marketing and Entrepreneurship, and am striving to help fellow musicians and producers improve their art and make a living doing the work they love.

- Reagan Ramm



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