There are millions of artists on Spotify, so with Spotify’s changes to royalty eligibility how many artists have traction?

Late last year, Spotify announced that they would be changing how they send their royalties to artists. One of the more notable announcements was that artists would only begin earning revenues once their music surpassed 1,000 streams within a year. How will that impact the over-11 million artists on Spotify?

Luminate’s 2023 music report revealed that a whopping 158.6 million tracks received 1,000 plays or less on streaming services last year. Now, that represents music across all streaming services and not Spotify alone, but it gives some indication of the artists who may be missing out on payments under Spotify’s new rules.

Some new stats offer us a little more of a glimpse as to how many artists will be affected. Data from Chartmetric shows how many artists have over 1,000 monthly listeners, shared by Music Business Worldwide. They found that 19.16% of the artists on Spotify have over 1,000 monthly listeners.

Now, it’s worth noting that this isn’t the same as streams. This statistic is for the number of unique listeners tuning into an artist’s songs on Spotify each month. So, 100 listeners who listen to a song 10 times each in a month would still equal 1,000 monthly plays.

The stat is pertinent though, as it gives a suggestion towards the artists affected by Spotify’s royalty changes. But also, Deezer have been exploring changes to royalty distribution which these stats apply more directly to. Similarly to Spotify, Deezer are tackling fraud and non-musical noise content.

However, Deezer are also rewarding artists who engage with audiences on a deeper level, paying more to artists with at least 1,000 monthly listeners under their new policy.

Spotify have made no suggestion that they plan to introduce a similar policy. It is however clear that streaming models are changing and the engagement artists have with listeners on streaming services are going to become more important.

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