Spotify pays more than 1p per stream - sometimes

Spotify receives a lot of bad press for its tiny streaming royalties.

At the last #sonicmeet, I told a skeptical Mike Hillier that Vienna Circle, a band whose second album I have been producing, have seen streaming payments in the pennies before. Sure, it's no flattering payment, but it certainly looks better than the £0.000125 that many artists receive per play.

I just received an updated copy of Vienna Circle's digital stats, and checked back to see if I was utterly mistaken that Spotify, or indeed another streaming service, really can pay more than the hallowed penny for a single track stream.

Take a look at your own stats and see how often you've played certain tracks over the last five years. Then scale that up to your lifetime. If streaming royalties are, on average, over half a penny, the number of plays could ultimately earn the artist more a traditional sale.

So what is the average rate overall?

At 1,975 streams, the average pay per stream for Vienna Circle is £0.0043. A fan would have to stream a song 184 times in their lifetime to effectively pay the artist the iTunes rate (not including Apple's cut).

Of course, these rates pale in comparison to regular iTunes sales. Streaming income would never have given Vienna Circle the opportunity to invest in a second album, and they wouldn't be able to claim a profit from just streaming for decades, if ever. 

All in all, it seems worth further analysis, so subscribe to this blog and I'll post some detailed analysis later. The second album, due in Spring, will be tracked extensively and sounds much better, so its analysis should be quite insightful. Alternatively, sign up to the Vienna Circle mailing list to hear about their second second album - I think bassist Jack is preparing some great studio videos of Monkey Puzzle House for subscribers right now.

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