- A core part of Spotify’s mission is to enable artists to thrive from their work. So we view it as our responsibility to be open about how music streaming – and Spotify specifically – is generating money for the music industry. Which is why we launched Loud & Clear last year, and updated it with 2021 figures today.
- Last year, if there was one big takeaway, I’d say it was this: not only is streaming driving record revenues for the music industry, there are more artists sharing in that success than ever before. And this year’s numbers reveal further meaningful progress.
- In 2021, for the first time, 50K+ artists generated $10K+, and 1K+ artists generated $1M+ from Spotify alone. (Considering Spotify represents ~25% of global recorded music revenue, you’d have to multiply these amounts by 3 or 4x to estimate how much the artist is generating beyond just Spotify).
- 50K+ artists generating more than $10K from Spotify alone (and not including other sources of revenue) is a massive improvement from the past. Consider that back in 2002, just over 30K albums were released in the U.S., and only 8K sold more than a thousand copies.
- The number of artists reaching every revenue threshold on Spotify – e.g. $10K, $100K, $1M, $5M/year – have all more than doubled in the last five years.And the future looks bright: I recently saw an analysis by MIDIA that forecasted the retail music market to grow 57% by 2028, driven by streaming.
- In 2021, Spotify paid out more than any other service ($7B to the music industry), and more than any single retailer in history in a single year.
- And the 2021 results show that there are winners across the whole music ecosystem: major labels earned $4B+ in overall profit; Publishers earned more than $1B from Spotify for the 2nd year in a row; 28%+ of artists who generated $10K+ from Spotify are self-distributed, and 42% live in countries outside the top ten music markets.
- Not only is the industry more lucrative today, it’s also less concentrated. In the CD era, 25% of all sales went to the top 50 artists. On Spotify that has now been halved – with only 12.5% coming from the top 50.
- Just like the hyper-competitive worlds of film or sports, it’s difficult to make it in music. I get that. But the figures we’re sharing show that Spotify is improving on the music industry of the past, and more and more artists are able to stand out in the streaming era.
- Music matters. To the world and to Spotify. It’s where we started and what continues to inspire us as we continue to build the most valuable platform for artists. We’re nowhere near done.
The future looks bright. I recently saw an analysis by OMDIA that forecasted the retail music market to grow by 50% over the next 5 years.
8% CAGR, in the next 5 years, the industry will be 50% bigger than it is today. streaming is a scalable model and the growth we’re seeing in successful artists is only going to continue for the next several years.
OMDIA forecast the retail music market to grow from $30bn in 2021 to $47.7bn in 2026, a CAGR of 7.8%