Any number! Just one listener appreciating your music should be an achievement. But what about if you want to do this thing full-time?
While Spotify is the largest streaming service in the world, this is just one source of potential income. There are plenty of other ways artists make money such as other streaming services, stores, physical music sales, gigs, merch, etc.
Although there is no official Spotify ‘ray rate’, Audiam founder and CEO Jeff Price calculated Spotify’s average payout last year at $0.00492 per stream. The US federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour, which works out at around $1,260 per month based on a 40 hour week. For artists to hit this amount, they need roughly 256k monthly listeners on Spotify.
Spotify launched their Loud & Clear site earlier this year designed to increase transparency on the global streaming economy. While Spotify are careful to hide some key statistics and estimates, we can gage some details such as how many artists are earning how much money on the platform. Spotify says around 22,000 received at least 256,000 monthly listeners in 2020. For reference, there are around 8 million artists on Spotify, putting those that hit this magic number in the top 0.2-0.3% of artists.