Is streaming only helping music’s biggest stars?

Mar 2, 2023

No. Streaming has fundamentally changed the music ecosystem — lowering barriers to entry and democratizing access to audio for listeners across the world. Artists no longer need big budgets to create, distribute, and amplify their music around the world. 

In 2022, over 275,000 artists were added to Spotify editorial playlists at least once, the large majority of which were discovered through Spotify for Artists’ playlist pitching tool, which is freely available to all artists. 

More artists are sharing in today’s thriving music economy compared to the peak of the CD era. In the heyday of CDs, nearly 25% of US sales were accounted for by the top 50 artists. On Spotify in 2022, only 12% of US streams were from the top 50 artists –– meaning that today, revenue opportunities reach far beyond the superstars. Further, in 2022, a quarter of artists who generated over $10K from Spotify are self-distributed, and 35% live in countries outside the top ten music markets.