Back in the days, it was relatively easy to calculate how much you would earn from a sale, how much you get per sold CD or vinyl disc and also in the downloads it was predictable what you get per sold song. But in the streaming age, the whole story has become much more complicated. Even though there are various numbers on the net about how much Spotify pays per stream, there is no fixed amount.
This depends on many factors, but mainly on which country the stream comes from and whether the listener has a free or premium subscription.
If you compare 18 of the world's top 20 music markets: the values vary enormously. The payout for one million streams ranges from ca. 720 EUR in Argentina to 4,657 EUR in Norway. On average you get 2.739 Euro for one million streams.
Also, the advertising revenues vary in each individual market. At the same time, the number of premium subscriptions and the number of streams generated by the listeners change every month. Basically, the numbers are in constant change and so is the payout to the artists. This means that your personal streaming numbers matter equally to the "market" changes in general. If the number of your streams decreases the same amount of all streams decreases, you will still earn the same amount.
Here are again the most important factors which influence how much you get per stream:
Type of subscription (Free / Paid)
Origin of the stream (country)
Generated advertising revenue in the respective market
Number of subscriptions
Number of streams generated per month
How much does Spotify pay per stream?
Of all revenue generated, Spotify keeps 30% for itself. Of the remaining 70%, a part is paid for the songwriters and composers and the rest goes via label or distribution to the rights holders of the song. From the remaining part of the cake, it is calculated how many streams there were in total and how high the share of each artist is. Assuming there were a million streams per month and you have 1,000 streams, you will receive 0.01% of the cake.
So far so understandable. But it is not that there is only one cake, but dozens. So there is a cake for every market, every subscription level and so on. This is where the real differences start.
79 countries in comparison:
In the chart, you can see for 79 different countries how much is paid per stream and extrapolated to one million streams: these numbers give you a good guideline: 1 million streams in Iceland you get almost nine times the amount paid for the same number of streams in Morocco, Tunisia or Algeria.
Also in the German-speaking countries, the differences are considerable. While in Switzerland you get about 4.025 Euro and in Austria 3.755 Euro per million streams, in Germany it is just 2.862. So for a stream in Switzerland, you get 40% more than for a stream in Germany.
The evaluation clearly shows that it is not only important how many streams you generate, but also in which countries. For example, Iceland is by far the country with the best payout by far, but with its less than 400,000 inhabitants the island state is still only moderately interesting. If you consider the payout per stream and the number of inhabitants, the most interesting markets are the UK, Australia, Japan, USA, Germany and France.