"How much money can you make with Spotify?" - Finnish artist answers, with exact monthly details

How much money can you make with Spotify? - Finnish artist answers, with exact monthly details
"How much money you can earn with Spotify?" is the question that has popped up during the past couple of years. Some big name artists have pulled their music from Spotify, blaming extremely bad revenue shares and even labelling Spotify as the main reason for the music industry's decline. However, nobody has come out with the exact figures to back up that claim -- or disprove it. Until now.

Anssi Kela, a Finnish singer-songwriter, released his hit single "Levoton tyttö" earlier this year and he wanted to share his Spotify income details with his fans. He did it by drilling down the figures by month, and differentiating them to revenue coming from Spotify Premium, Spotify Unlimited and Spotify's free version.

First of all, he wanted to note that the revenue he got paid actually includes all the streaming revenue from all the streaming services where his song has been played. However, as other streaming services are virtually non-existent in Finland - with the song being in the Finnish language and with Finland being one of the first countries to actually get Spotify - Spotify stands as the de facto equivalent of music streaming services in the country, so it is fair to say that the figures represent revenue from Spotify, with maybe approximately 1 - 2 percent of the revenue coming from other services.

Here are the monthly figures for this particular song:

March, 2013
186,317 streams

April, 2013
415,353 streams

May, 2013
300,524 streams

June, 2013
156,119 streams

1,058,313 streams

So, for about one million Spotify plays, the artist received €2,336.90 (appx. $3'160), equivalent to €0.002 / $0.003 per playback. At this point, Mr. Kela wanted to note that his contract with his record label is much, much better than what new artists would get. He estimates that his cut of the revenue would be as much as 10 times higher than what a new artist would get (as he has been popular artist in Finland for more than a decade now).

His details get interesting, when he breaks down the revenues between free and paid service on Spotify. Here are the details for April, 2013:

April, 2013

Spotify Free
220,571 streams

Spotify Premium and Spotify Unlimited
194,782 streams

Those figures reveal that while the track received marginally more plays through the free version, the actual income was ten times higher through the paid versions of Spotify. In his case, this means that the stream playbacks via the paid versions of Spotify earned him about €0.004 / $0.0055 per playback and the free version only earned him €0.00036 / $0.00049 per playback.

Mr. Kela's message to his fans is that he doesn't want the world of physical CD sales back, but wants people who use the Spotify and similar services to start paying for the service, as that way, the artist you listen to also benefits.

Written by: Petteri Pyyny @ 7 Nov 2013 3:18
streaming Spotify Finland
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  • bloke2000

    The problems from a consumers perspective we already pay Spotify what we believe is appropriate and this is in line with what Spotify think they can get for the service. I am in the UK and pay £9.99 ($16.06) a month. For what I use I would not pay more, I could buy one new CD a month for this which means I could really have all the music I would buy within a year or so.

    I guess the problem really comes where I have tracks I would listen to on Spotify but would never actually buy.

    7.11.2013 08:09 #1

  • hearme0


    7.11.2013 12:39 #2

  • Bozobub

    "Waaah, I don't make quite as much profit as I MIGHT make," he snivels. Yet, he DOES make a profit. Snivel fail.

    His alternative is getting absolutely zip from piracy.

    7.11.2013 15:51 #3

  • pensfan12

    "Spotify Free
    220,571 streams
    Those streams are probably from the people you used to pirate music so I wouldn't be complaining.

    8.11.2013 16:54 #4

  • FearlessCaptain

    There are tons of artist on Band Camp who make 10 times that while also uploading it themselves on Pirate Bay. Spotify is a bad deal for artists.

    12.11.2013 10:56 #5

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