Skip to main content

Majority of Spotify’s highest streamed artists make less than $50,000 a year from platform

Only 870 artists made more than $1 million through the platform in 2020

A new study has found that the highest-streamed artists on Spotify struggle to make a significant income from the streaming platform.

A report for Rolling Stone, carried out by Tim Bingham, who is founder of Music Business Worldwide, focused on the highest-earning 'Gold Club' of Spotify. It found that among the top performing 0.8% of artists - which amounts to around 57,000 musicians - 76.49% made under $50k (or £36k) in 2020.

Of these top artists, only 13,400 (0.2%) earned over $50k last year, and around 870 of the highest-streamed artists made over $1 million. Adele, Drake and Ed Sheeran are among those 870 artists.

“Delving into these granular stats guarantees us that these 13,400 artists - the $50,000-a-year-plus minority within our 57,000-strong “Gold Club” - cumulatively generated a minimum of $2.22 billion on Spotify last year,” Ingham concluded.

He continued: “This all reveals a painful truth: Even among the elite 0.8% “Gold Club” of artists on Spotify, there is a vast disparity between successful and unsuccessful, with the majority of artists firmly in the latter category."

A recent UK Government report concluded that music streaming needed a "total reset" in order to make the system fairer for more artists and creators.