Spotify has announced first quarter revenue of €2.147 billion. Here’s how many streams an artist would need achieve that

Love it or loathe it, Spotify is here to stay, with the streaming platform the go-to for both established and up and coming artists, despite criticisms over the amount that it pays the artists on its platform.

Last month, Spotify announced its first-quarter results for the period ending 31 March 2022. Revenue was up 16% to €2.147 billion in the period, ahead of expectations, with its Premium Subscriber base accounting for €1.93 billion of that. The number of Premium Subscribers grew 21% to 158 million in the quarter.

For the upcoming quarter, it is hopeful of achieving €2.16 billon to €2.36 billion in revenue, growing its premium subscriber base to between 162 billion and 166 billion.

Impressive numbers, certainly, but just how many streams would an artist need to get even close to Spotify’s quarterly income?

According to a quick Google search, Spotify’s pay per stream rate averages out at $0.00437 to artists (it’s reportedly a lot more to labels and rights holders, but let’s not go into that), which in euro terms is €0.0036.

This means that in order to achieve one euro in payment, an artist will need to get 277 streams. One million euro would require 277 million streams.

And in order to achieve Spotify’s quarterly revenue of €2.147 billion? That’s 594,719,000,000, or just under 595 billion streams. Yikes.

Or, to put it another way, there are reportedly 1.2 million artists on Spotify. Combined, if each of these got 495,599 streams, they would achieve the €2.147 billion quarterly revenue total.

As the US-based Union of Musicians put it last year, launching its ‘Justice At Spotify’ campaign, “Spotify is the most dominant platform on the music streaming market. The company behind the streaming platform continues to accrue value, yet music workers everywhere see little more than pennies in compensation for the work they make.

“With the entire live music ecosystem in jeopardy due to the coronavirus pandemic, music workers are more reliant on streaming income than ever. We are calling on Spotify to deliver increased royalty payments, transparency in their practices, and to stop fighting artists.”

Whether the company is listening, however, remains to be seen. [Photo: ©David Molina/]

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