Can you actually make a living from uploading music online? Technically yes… but actually…
Spotify, the platform used by 170 million people have opening up its direct monetization program. Millions of listeners flock to Spotify to enjoy music that is advertising-supported and subscription-based. In the United States alone, people listened to an average of 32 hours of music per week in 2017, showing that the market is big enough for artists of every genre. Just like Youtubers, Spotify artists can earn a certain amount through advertising.
How much can you expect?
According to CNBC, artists can expect to earn between $0.006 to $0.0084 per stream to the holder of music rights. However, according to some data from Information is Beautiful, it puts that number even lower at $0.00437 per play. So doing the math, a 1000 streams would translate to roughly $4.37. This was one of the lowest amounts paid by companies. Of course this is nowhere near as bad as what YouTube gives at $0.00069 per view.
How To Get Your Music or Podcast On Spotify’s Playlist and generate revenue?
If you’re confident that your songs are well written, then you can start pitching your music to get featured on a Spotify playlist. The subscription is actually pretty simple:
- Firstly, get a verified profile on Spotify. Find out more here: https://www.spotifyartists.com/verification/
- Come up with a new, catchy melody that will stick in people’s heads and start uploading them or an attention grabbing topic for a podcast. (I know, easier said than done)
- Send your tracks to other popular music blogs too. Not only is it more exposure if they select your music but you might also reach more curators.
- Create a personal website to brand yourself.
- Through your website, you can send emails to reach people, so grow your fan mailing list…This will probably turn out to be more fruitful than focussing on social media. You can then email your followers when you release a track on Spotify.
Spotify’s royalty payouts have had a lot of bad press from some major artists like Taylor Swift who pulled out some of her songs. However, streaming services can be lucrative (and seem fairer) when the artist owns the publishing and songwriting rights. Spotify pays out 70% of their revenues to rights holders.
If you self release your music through a platform like CD Baby, you can retain a larger slice of the pie than if you sign the track to a label. Sometimes releasing with a label can be the best option due their market reach and leverage with streaming sites. You’ll need to decide what is best for you.
However, Spotify’s earnings might be insufficient alone. Therefore I would suggest artists and composers to use other revenue streams like Soundcloud, which has an even greater number of users, currently 175 millions. Radio conglomerate iHeartRadio is also another great powerhouse option on the traditional dial. It has become a streaming favourite for many who love their local DJs with 100 millions registered users. And of course, let’s not forget the biggest source of online entertainment with 1.8 billion users, Youtube.
There are plenty of other platforms and ways to monetise your voice. But at the end of the day, it all comes down to marketing yourself. Whatever you do, do it with a passion! 🙂