This is a well-known music streaming service that many of us use to build playlists, seek out new music, and listen to our favorite artists. But if you are a musician, you might be able to make some extra cash with it as well! Can you really make money with Spotify? Let’s talk about it!
Making Money With Spotify
Let's start out by talking about Spotify itself. Spotify makes it easy to find the music you want, all the time.
You can use it on your phone, on your tablet, on your computer, etc. Plus, there are literally millions of tracks on Spotify. You can also listen to not just music, but also popular podcasts with it.
Spotify is free for anyone to start using… but you will very quickly realize that with Premium, you will a lot more ‘bang’ for your buck. Plus, as of this moment in time, Premium only costs about $10… which is pretty cool.
You can also bundle Spotify with Hulu now to get an even better deal!
But this begs another question. Why does virtually every artist put their music on Spotify if Spotify is making all of the money for it? Sure, the service gives musicians, artists, singers, and bands a great medium to share their music on… but is that all there is to it?
Can musicians also make money on Spotify?
The ‘Straight Dope’ On Spotify
As it turns out, musicians can make decent money on Spotify—though it is not altogether easy if you don’t get a lot of views. In this article, we will discuss exactly how this works.
If you are a musician who is thinking about putting your music on Spotify, you will probably go to their website and do some searching around. The first thought I had was that artists could maybe build their own profiles and upload their own music. But as it turns out, that is not necessarily how it works.
If you scroll down to the bottom of the landing page, and look at all of the links available to you on the footer, you will find a section called ‘For Artists.’ Clicking on that link will take you to this page.
With this page, you can click on the ‘Claim Your Profile’ link to start this process. But there are also some other links down below that help to give artists information about the way Spotify handles artists uploading their own music.
You can find information here about uploading your own music, submitting your music for playlisting, finding out what fans are listening to, etc.
But… if you click on the ‘Claim Your Profile’ link, it only takes you to a page where you can type in your profile and ‘retrieve it.’ There is no information here about actually creating a profile to begin with.
So I dug a little deeper, and went to the FAQ page.
Here is what I found.
Reading The Spotify FAQ Page
First of all, here is what the FAQ page had to say about how to get your music onto Spotify.
As you can see, they want to make sure that everything is properly licensed… which is why they require that all of their music be delivered by a distributor. Their preferred artist distributor is a company called DistroKid, but you can also use services like EmuBands, Record Union, AWAL, CD Baby, TuneCore, etc.
As it turns out, you will need to create an account with one of these companies first before you can get your music onto most streaming services, like Spotify.
I personally went and took a look at DistroKid. This site will get your music into Spotify, lets you keep 100% of your royalties, pays you monthly for all of the money you make, gets your music into Spotify faster than other services, and charges only about $20 a year. For this, you get to upload unlimited albums and songs all year long.
One of the things that first got my attention was that I was wondering if DistroKid will put your music into other stores too. They only mention Spotify by name, but they also say that they can get you into ‘other stores’ as well. So that is a good thing.
As it turns out, you will need to spend some money to make money on Spotify. You will need to start an account with a distributor and start paying them before you can hope to have your music uploaded to Spotify.
But… with that being said, that process is actually surprisingly easy. And personally, I was a pretty big fan of DistroKid anyway after taking a look at it.
But how much can you actually make on Spotify as an artist? Let’s talk about that next.
How Much Money Can You Earn On Spotify As An Artist
The reason I research websites like this is because I am always on the lookout for a quality side-hustle. I love to make extra money, and I love to do it in unique ways. I like to try to think outside of the box, and Spotify is the latest thing I’ve been looking at.
Now, this all goes without saying that if you are not into making music, this is probably not going to be the right kind of site for you. Obviously, if you want to make money on Spotify, you would need to be able to make music (or a podcast) to upload.
But… if you are a musician, and if you are considering uploading your music to Spotify with the intent to not only put your name out there, but also to make some extra cash with it, then here is what you could plan on earning.
First of all, it is important to understand that this is not altogether a simple thing to figure out. Spotify changes its royalty payout system from time to time, and there are also changes in the system now and then that can affect exactly how bands or artists get paid.
I Googled this to try to learn more, and found out some statistics here.
- In 2016, one indie EDM artist published their royalty payout records and showed that for having their songs streamed 1,023,501 times, they got paid a total of $4,955.90
- DigitalMusicNews.com published a report in January of 2018 that said that Spotify pays out $0.00397 per stream
As you can see, the per-stream payout is pretty low. But… obviously, if you can build up enough of an audience, there is the potential for a decent payday.
Making It As A Music Artist In Today’s Music Industry
There is no secret about the fact that it is hard to make it in the music industry today. There is a lot of saturation, and a lot of people are competing for the market share.
In some ways, there has never been a better time to be an indie artist. But in other ways, the payout for such artists is getting a bit lower because competition is going up.
With all of that being said, though, it could still be worth it to chase your musical passions if you are interested in earning money on streaming services like Spotify. At first glance it might not seem like the best gig—but it is still a gig nonetheless, and one that could give you a spot on the world streaming stage if you turn enough heads.
My Personal Feelings About Earning Money With Spotify
Personally, I use Spotify all the time. So it is not only a platform that I am familiar with, but also a platform that I enjoy. But, with that being said, I have never uploaded any music onto it. I have mostly just listened to music and podcasts with it.
I am a bit of a hobby musician though, and I do write and produce some of my own music. So with that being said, uploading music to Spotify and getting some streams would not be out of the question for me.
Is it worth the time and effort to produce the music, though? I guess this all comes down to what you like to do.
Side hustles usually have to be profitable for me to invest time into them… but there is not necessarily any guarantee that my music would get enough streams on Spotify to make a difference either. So I could end up putting the effort in for no gain.
But then again… if someone does want to make music and make that a part of their overarching goals, then it may actually be quite profitable in the long run to go ahead and invest in Spotify. It is not guaranteed to work, though… and that is the risk.
You must decide if you are willing to risk your time and a bit of monetary investment. If not, then Spotify may not be the way to go.
Our Final Opinion About Spotify
Should you upload your music and try to make some money on streams?
There are a lot of ways to make money online. Some are good, some not, but ALL of them are still just trading hours for dollars.
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