Spotify Royalty Calculator

March 28, 2024

Hey, so you’re an artist, right?

This royalty calculator is designed to help you understand how much money you can make from your music on Spotify. Or Apple Music. Or TIDAL. We included all the major music streaming platforms.

Please note that many factors affect streaming royalties. This Spotify calculator should be only used as a guide.

How to use the Spotify royalty calculator

Spotify payout calculator is a tool that helps you estimate how much money you'll make from streaming music on Spotify (or other streaming platforms).

To calculate your estimated revenue:

Step 1: Enter the number of streams you generated in a month. Don't put any spaces or special characters.

Step 2: The calculator automatically provides an estimate of your royalties!

It’s that simple! But bear in mind that this is just an estimate. In reality, how much money you will earn depends on many factors. Mainly, your agreement with the label or the distributor. Also, the location of your listeners and whether they are premium or free users of Spotify. So, many factors that come into play and it’s impossible to guarantee how much you will make from your streams.

Spotify pays out royalties based on the number of streams an artist receives so one thing is sure: the more streams you have, the more money you make. So don’t get fixated on exact calculations and instead focus on how you can boost the number of your listeners. When the streams come, so will the money. Take a look at 11 marketing strategies for musicians if you still struggle with getting enough streams for your music.

What counts as a stream?

Most streaming platforms follow the rule that a song needs to be streamed for 30 seconds or more to count as one stream.

Who gets paid for a stream?

First, it’s important to know that streaming platforms such as Spotify or Apple Music don’t pay artists directly. They pay the rights holders who receive approximately 70% of the streaming royalties, while Spotify keeps a 30% cut.

The right holders of the song include: the record label, the distributor, aggregators, and collecting societies. Artists and songwriters choose their right holders and receive a rate dependent on their recording contract. This would usually be a split between 20% for the artist and 80% for the record label. However, often the part of the royalties earned by the artist cover expenses that were paid in advance such as marketing, promotion and tour support. So, the money earned from streaming might not even end up in the artist’s pocket.

An independent artist who owns the sound recording will receive the entire label share minus the cost paid to the distributor. Again, this varies depending on the contract, but usually, 20% goes to the distributor.

To put this into perspective:

  • Your song would have to get 437 000 streams on Spotify to earn $1000
  • For every $1000 a streaming service pays in royalties, right holders receive about $700 and Spotify gets $300.
  • From these $700, a music label keeps $560 and the artist receives $140.
  • If the artist is unassigned, he or she will keep $560 while paying about $140 to the distributor.

This is of course just an estimate as everything depends on the terms of the contract. The process of calculating royalties by labels is very opaque and differs from artist to artist. Artists are also bound by non-disclosure agreements so this information doesn’t flow freely.

How to earn more money as an artist on streaming platforms

Releasing your music to big DSPs like Spotify is a necessary step if you’re to succeed in the digital era. This is without a doubt the easiest and fastest way to reach the audience worldwide.

First off, get started on Spotify. It’s the biggest music streaming platform in the world, so it makes sense for any artist to start there first. But don’t stop there! Once you have a solid presence on Spotify, branch out and start building a following on other platforms too. You can maximize your revenue by being available on all the major online music stores like Apple Music, TIDAL, Deezer, Youtube Music, and more.

Playlists - not albums - are currently the most popular way listeners consume music on streaming platforms. If you want to see an increase in streams and revenue from Spotify streams, try getting your music playlisted!

Make sure your music is visible on playlists curated by the app's editorial team, as well as user-generated playlists created by other users. You can submit your music to playlists through promotional free tools such as Spotify for Artists or use paid services that connect artists with playlist curators.

Another promotional tactic is creating your own playlists and throwing in one or two of your songs. Don’t forget to promote your playlists across all music streaming services with Smart Links to increase your exposure and number of streams.

The highest earning Spotify artists

Do you wonder how much money popular artists get on Spotify? According to Loud And Clear by Spotify, around 1040 artists managed to generate $1 million in the streaming payouts.

Spotify doesn't share data about most streamed artists all-time (only monthly listeners) so this data comes from ChartMasters.

The table below shows the top 10 streaming artists on Spotify, together with the number of plays and estimated total revenue. As usual, please remember that the earnings were calculated according to Spotify's average pay pay stream (which is $0.00437 per stream) and actual earnings may differ a lot.

Artist Number of plays Estimated total revenue ($)
Drake 46,697,543,955 204,068,267
Bad Bunny 35,843,162,498 156,634,620
Ed Sheeran 35,801,925,406 156,454,414
The Weeknd 31,588,739,684 138,042,792
Ariana Grande 30,689,233,907 134,111,952
Justin Bieber 30,250,265,777 132,193,661
Taylor Swift 28,852,695,444 126,086,279
Eminem 28,368,411,475 123,969,958
Post Malone 27,852,251,588 121,714,339
BTS 25,546,119,271 111,636,541

Final Thoughts

Checking a Spotify royalty calculator is just one step in learning more about streaming platforms. If you're serious about your music career, you should take advantage of different strategies and tools that can help you promote your music in today's digital era. This is why we built Smart Links - to help artists and music labels get more streams and followers across all streaming platforms.

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