If an artist has millions of streams, why don’t they earn more?

Mar 2, 2023

Spotify has been around for more than 15 years. We now have more than 600 million listeners who are streaming more songs per month than ever before, which means the activity on the platform increases exponentially. 

And streaming services pay based on streamshare, not a per-stream rate.

Spotify pays rights holders on a monthly basis, but our app shows all-time streams rather than how many times a song was streamed this year or this month. Therefore, these all-time stream counts do not correlate with the monthly payout an artist receives from their rights holders. 

Because of the growth of streaming and the increase in engagement per user, the meaning of a million streams has changed over the years — lots of tracks are reaching a million streams, and more often than you’d think. In fact, 1,120,000 songs have now surpassed a million streams, and 329,000 songs received a million streams in 2023 alone. That’s up from 281,000 songs in 2022. 550 songs reached a billion streams by the end of 2023. To get a better sense of the Spotify ecosystem, you can play around with the interactive tool on this site, which reflects data as of December 2023.