How to earn Royalties for your music on Spotify and other music streaming platforms; A Safe Haven for Independent Artists

“How to Blow as a Musician without a Record Label”

The biggest benefit of being on Spotify playlists is getting your music in front of new potential fans who otherwise might not have heard your music.

The primary way for a person to earn money on Spotify is to earn revenues and royalties from their music. This is like the traditional way a musician makes money. You make something that people like and then you get paid every time someone buys or listens to your tracks.

Spotify generally pays between $.003 and $.005 per stream, meaning you’ll need about 250 streams to make a dollar.

If you want to make more money from streaming, release more music and apply to have your music placed on official Spotify playlists.

Over the last decade, several Downloadable Streaming Platforms (also called DSPs) have emerged, including Spotify, Apple Music, SoundCloud, and Pandora. Spotify in particular has made its name as a streaming Giant

“Royalties are the payments that an artist earns from streams. Spotify royalties are specifically distributed from the net revenue collected from ads and Premium subscription fees. “

Many factors affect how much you’ll be paid per stream on Spotify, including where your listeners live, whether they have a Spotify premium account, and what sort of distribution contract you have.

Here’s what you should know about payments on Spotify.

According to the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), paid subscriptions have taken the place of album sales. And if physical sales weren’t struggling enough, the RIAA also reported that the pandemic decreased revenue from physical products by 23%. With that part of their income declining and in the face of industry-wide shutdowns on live events, music streaming revenue has become even more critical for artists.

Yet, its true that Spotify has paid artists as little as $.0033 per stream, with other sites reporting upwards of $.0054. Translated, you’ll need about 250 streams to earn a dollar.

“This is why rappers make their money through merchandise, endorsements, and features,” 27-year-old New Jersey-based rap artist Brandon Pain told Insider.

This hasn’t always been the case — Spotify’s payout rates have changed over time. In 2014, they paid $.00521 on average, but two years later, the average rate dropped to $.00437. By 2017, the average pay rate had been reduced again . GENERALLY

You can expect to make between $3 and $5 per 1,000 streams on Spotify. The average pay-out per stream on Spotify is $0.003. How much you get paid depends on what percentage of the total stream pie per month you own, which means your payout can fluctuate anywhere between $0.0033 – $0.0054 per stream.

Royalties are the payments that an artist earns from streams. Spotify royalties are specifically distributed from the net revenue collected from ads and Premium subscription fees. 

Artists are paid monthly. When Spotify pays artists, they tally the total number of streams for each of an artist’s songs, and determine who owns each song and who distributes it. First, the rights holders are paid. Next, the distributor is paid (this may be the same as the rights holder in some cases). And finally, you’re paid.

“Yet, its true that Spotify has paid artists as little as $.0033 per stream, with other sites reporting upwards of $.0054. Translated, you’ll need about 250 streams to earn 1 dollar”

“Each DSP has its payout, and it’s your distribution company’s responsibility to get the correct payout. They help set you up and walk you through how much you’re being paid per stream, and the royalty payout process,” Pain said.

Independent artists and their managers typically use distribution services like Tunecore or Distrokid to get their music onto Spotify. Bigger artists signed to major labels go through an in-house process.

“Now that there are more distribution outlets, that sector of the industry is starting to scale. Meaning the cost is starting to lower,” said Sharlea Brookes-Keyes, manager for Boston rapper Vintage Lee. “Tunecore does 100% royalties [meaning they don’t take any of your streaming revenue], but you have to pay an annual fee of $50 for an album and $10 for a single.” 

“This is a game changer for Independent Artists based mostly in Africa. NIGERIA and Africa has so much untapped music potentials which may even go untapped”

A study conducted by Digital Media Finland in 2017 focused on the  system used for Finnish Spotify Premium subscribers. This system pays rights-holders according to how their streams hold up against popular songs during a set amount of time. 

More popular artists have their music streamed more, which means they earn more. So for artists to obtain more money, they need more streams.

The most surefire way to grow a fanbase, many artists have found, is by releasing music consistently and often. A new magnum opus every year is great, but a sporadic release schedule will mean a smaller pool of listeners.

But other factors can influence how much a musician earns, too. 

Not all listeners are the same. Spotify Premium listeners pay more per stream than Free tier listeners. And the pay-per-stream also changes based on what country a listener is from; according to music distributor iGroove, listeners from the US pay $0.0035 per stream, for example, while Italian listeners will pay $0.0019.

The role of Spotify’s 4 billion playlists shouldn’t be sold short either. “Popularity and getting on their editorial playlists are two huge factors,” manager Brookes-Keyes said. “[Vintage Lee’s] song was already hot in the streets and doing relatively well, but when ‘NBA 2k18’ came out [and it was put on the official playlist], her streams grew and are still steadily consistent.”

RapCaviar, curated by Tuma Basa, is one of the most popular editorial playlists. His strategic curation has helped propel artists towards a wider audience and showcased underground music, with Vulture even dubbing it “the most influential playlist in music.” 

“The most surefire way to grow a fanbase, many artists have found, is by releasing music consistently and often”

Spotify’s RapCaviar playlist currently has more than 14 million subscribers. 

If artists are on smaller playlists like Mellow Favorites, there’s still an opportunity to move up to a larger, better-known one like Chill R&B. Once an artist makes it to a more notable playlist, it increases the likelihood they’ll gain more followers and more streams.

In 2018, Spotify also introduced their playlist submission tool. The feature gives artists a choice to submit unreleased music to Spotify, for a chance at having that music put on a playlist as soon as it comes out.

Once an artist chooses their track and submits it, they can tailor the song’s settings according to mood, style, genre, type of recording, and more. This helps Spotify decide which editorial and algorithmic playlists your music belongs in and how to introduce the track to more fans.

This is a game changer for Independent Artists based mostly in Africa. NIGERIA and Africa has so much untapped music potentials which may even go untapped.

These DSPs or Downloadable Streaming Platforms is the future of Music Artists and Distributors  and the music industry at large.

“Do you know that the Radio stations that you are begging to play your songs are the ones that actually owe you money in terms of Royalties for using your Song”

While you are waiting for popular record labels to sign you, you can set up an account with these DSPs and upload your music directly to millions or even billions of audiences around the globe.

Most independent artists have a lot of unreleased songs in their laptops, waiting for record labels they will play it for, begging DJs to play their songs on Radio Stations.

Do you know that the Radio stations that you are begging to play your songs are the ones that actually owe you money in terms of Royalties for using your Song.

Knowledge they say is power, you can manage your songs yourself and expose your song to billions of listening audience through these DSPs.

Most popular artists even got their break through via these streaming platforms.

What you need is to have the rights to your musical work,  even PODCASTS. You  don’t even need a Record Label to Blow.

Write and Record your songs, then upload it to these DSPs, you can upload Singles and you can upload Albums as well.

What you really need is consistency and thay wouldn’t be a problem if you have a passion at music. Making music is already hard, getting paid royalties for your musical work shouldn’t be that hard. That’s the gap all these DSPs are here to fill up and they are scaling up by

the day..

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