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Which Streaming Service Pays Artist The Most 2022?

At the end of 2021, the Swedish streaming giant said it had paid $7 billion in royalties to artists in the past year alone. This is a record figure for the Swedish company, but the complaints from the musicians do not stop.

There are many factors that affect the salary of musicians. First, musicians are paid between $0.0033 and $0.0054 per stream, meaning that a song must be listened to at least 250 times to earn one dollar. Other factors that affect earnings are where the piece was heard from, whether the person has a premium account, and what kind of distribution agreement the artist has entered into.

The last factor is extremely important because Spotify does not pay directly to the artist, but to the copyright holder of the work. Rights holders may include record companies (such as Sony or Universal), distributors and publishers authorized by the artist to upload their music to the platform. They, in turn, pay the artists with the money they earn (called royalties) from the streaming service. Consequently, most of the proceeds go to record labels and publishers, who then receive a portion of the proceeds depending on the artist’s contract.

With 406 million monthly active users, Spotify is the most used streaming platform in the world. In 2021, Spotify paid out a record $7 billion in royalties, up a whopping $2 billion from $5 billion in 2020.

However, these figures still do not convince the musicians: the royalties still go to the copyright holders, not to them. Many big names in music protested against low wages. Back in 2014, Taylor Swift removed her entire catalog from Spotify for this reason (although she returned to the platform).

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In 2020, Paul McCartney, Kate Bush, Noel Gallagher and Sting were among those who signed a letter to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson calling for major reforms in the streaming industry. Kanye West has decided not to release his latest album Donda 2 on streaming platforms, blaming these platforms for harming musicians.

Artists have long accused Spotify and other music streaming services of hurting their interests. They want payments directly, without the participation of copyright holders. So far, only individual streaming services can agree to such requirements, in particular the German SoundCloud. This music streaming service is known for paying royalties directly to artists.

But such generosity has a downside. The German platform introduced a fundamentally different method of promoting the artists’ own music, in which they independently promote their musical content. But not everyone succeeds, because for the successful promotion of their own works in this case, only talent is not enough. The artist will also need some knowledge in music marketing, the ability to draw up a small business plan and much more.

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