Spotify answers Thom Yorke attacks by revealing '$0.006 per play' royalties figure

Music streaming service has received criticism from musicians, but boasts that is has paid out more than $1bn in royalties since its 2008 launch

A song played on Spotify can earn an artist just $0.006, the streaming site has revealed, in an attempt to answer critics such as Thom Yorke, who accuse it of paying meagre royalties to emerging musicians.

Bruised by the attacks, the Swedish platform, which claims 24 million active users, has launched a website explaining to musicians how its business model works.

Spotify said that the average payment to rights-holders for a single play of a track is between $0.006 and $0.0084.

With CD sales continuing to slide and paid-for download sales plateauing, musicians without a huge catalogue of hits behind them argue that they can no longer earn a living off the pennies they receive for a Spotify play.

However the new Spotify Artists website urged musicians to consider the accumulative earnings from a successful release, rather than focus on plays-per-song.

A “niche indie album” typically generates $3,300 in monthly income from Spotify, whilst a “global hit album” would earn $425,000.

Spotify opened up its data from a 12-week period between June and August for analysis. Daft Punk’s Get Lucky was streamed 78.6 million times through its Play 50 chart, earning up to £660,000, which would be split between record label, publishers, collecting societies and the French duo.

Yorke has removed his Atoms For Peace project from Spotify, calling it “the last desperate fart of a dying corpse”.  He accused the site of trying to become the “gatekeepers” for all music, in the interest of the major record labels who own a stake in the business.

Thom Yorke played an exclusive DJ Set at Cornwall's Leopallooza last weekend Thom Yorke: one of the highest profile critics of Spotify's music streaming service. Spotify argues that it offers a higher royalties return per play than YouTube, where the biggest hits attract hundreds of millions of video views. Spotify has paid out $500 million in royalties in 2013 and $1 billion since its launch in 2008.

But the platform’s promise to increase the return for a typical “indie rock” band from $3,000 to $17,000 a month rests on an ambitious plan to expand its global subscriber base from 6 million to 40 million.

Spotify has yet to post a profit since the increased licensing fees it must pay out have outstripped its growing revenues. The service also faces increased competition in the streaming sector from Google and Apple.

Spotify also released figures which showed that Seattle-based rapper Macklemore and his DJ sidekick Ryan Lewis are the most streamed artists of 2013. The duo side-stepped traditional record labels to self-record Thrift Shop, a song mocking materialism. The track became a huge YouTube hit, racking up 400 million views and went on to top download charts worldwide.

The song is the most streamed over the past five years, with 160 million Spotify plays.  Follow-up single Can’t Stop Us became the most-streamed song worldwide among Spotify users this year.

Macklemore & Lewis  were also the most “tagged” artists of 2013 by users of Shazam, the mobile song identification site, achieving 34 million “tags” during 2013 so far.

However the most popular artist among UK Spotify users was the pop-rock group Bastille. The breakthrough band of the year, Bastille enjoyed the most-streamed song with Pompeii and achieved more “plays” than Arctic Monkeys and Daft Punk.

Zach Quillen, manager of Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, said: “Spotify has proven to be a powerful platform for both sharing and experiencing music. We value its ability to reach new, curious listeners by encouraging the sort of word-of-mouth marketing that drove (album) The Heist from day one.”

Stars will gain access to a new Spotify service which allows them to analyse up-to-the-minute streaming data for their songs, which will not be released to the public.

Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookA delicious collection of 50 meaty main courses
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Gadgets & Tech

    Recruitment Genius: Technical Support Analyst

    £20000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Managed IT Services Provid...

    Recruitment Genius: 1st / 2nd Line IT Support Engineer

    £20000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This specialist high tech compa...

    Recruitment Genius: Web Designer / Developer

    £12000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: New Full-time, Part-time and Fr...

    Recruitment Genius: Creative Web and UI Designer

    £30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An experienced creative web and...

    Day In a Page

    Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

    Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

    Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
    Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

    The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

    Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
    Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

    The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

    Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
    The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

    The future of songwriting

    How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
    William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

    Recognition at long last

    Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
    Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

    Beating obesity

    The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
    9 best women's festival waterproofs

    Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

    These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
    Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

    Wiggins worried

    Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
    Liverpool close in on Milner signing

    Liverpool close in on Milner signing

    Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
    On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

    On your feet!

    Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
    With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

    The big NHS question

    Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
    Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

    Thongs ain't what they used to be

    Big knickers are back
    Thurston Moore interview

    Thurston Moore interview

    On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
    In full bloom

    In full bloom

    Floral print womenswear
    From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

    From leading man to Elephant Man

    Bradley Cooper is terrific