June 19, 2024
Discover the different ways musicians can make a living on Spotify, from streaming royalties to merchandising and live performances. Explore the revenue streams and strategies artists can use to increase their income and promote their music.

How Do Artists Make Money on Spotify?

In the age of streaming, making a living as a musician is more complicated than ever. While streaming services like Spotify have the potential to reach a massive audience, the payout for plays is often negligible. So how can musicians make a living on Spotify? In this article, we’ll explore the different ways artists can earn income on the platform, from streaming royalties to merchandising and live performances.

Streaming Royalties

Streaming royalties are the most obvious way for artists to earn money on Spotify. Each time a user streams a song, a portion of the revenue goes to the artist. According to Spotify, the average payout per stream ranges from $0.003 to $0.005, meaning an artist would need millions of plays to earn a substantial income from streaming alone.

However, there are ways artists can optimize their earnings. First and foremost, playlisting is key. Getting featured on curated playlists or creating your own can increase streams and help boost revenue. Artists should also promote their music directly to fans via social media and targeted advertising on Spotify. Finally, make sure to claim your artist profile on Spotify and keep it up-to-date with new releases, tour dates, and other announcements.

Some artists even make the majority of their income from streaming royalties alone. For example, Hozier’s hit song “Take Me To Church” has earned him over $2 million in streaming revenue, while rapper Drake reportedly earned over $23 million in 2018 from streaming alone.


Collaborations are another way for artists to earn money on Spotify. When two or more artists collaborate on a song, they split the royalties and shares. This can help increase visibility for both artists and lead to more streams and revenue.

Collaborating with producers and other artists can also lead to creative opportunities and open up new avenues for promotion. For example, DJ Khaled’s “I’m the One” features a star-studded lineup of artists: Justin Bieber, Quavo, Chance the Rapper, and Lil Wayne. The song has over a billion streams on Spotify and has earned all of the artists significant income through royalties and shares.


Playlists are a huge part of the Spotify experience, and getting featured on popular playlists can be a game-changer for artists. In addition to curated playlists by Spotify editors, artists can create their own playlists to promote their music and connect with fans.

Getting featured on a Spotify-curated playlist can lead to a massive uptick in streams, which in turn leads to more revenue. For example, Lizzo’s breakout hit “Truth Hurts” was featured on multiple popular Spotify playlists, leading to over a billion streams and millions of dollars in income for the artist.


Merchandising is another way for artists to make money on Spotify. By selling merchandise like t-shirts, hats, and other items through the platform, artists can promote their music and earn additional income.

Spotify has partnered with companies like Merchbar and BandPage to make it easier for artists to sell merchandise to fans. The platform also allows artists to promote their merchandise directly on their artist profile and through targeted advertising.

Artists like Billie Eilish and Harry Styles have had massive success with merchandise sales on Spotify, with some estimates suggesting that Eilish makes up to $2 million per month from merchandising alone.

Live Performances

Finally, musicians can use Spotify to promote live shows and earn money through ticket sales and merchandising at concerts. With Spotify’s targeted advertising capabilities, artists can reach potential concert-goers based on location, interests, and other demographics.

Additionally, fans can get concert notifications and reminders through the platform, making it easier for artists to promote their shows. By linking to ticket sales and merchandise through their artist profile, musicians can earn additional income beyond what they make from streaming royalties and sales.

Artists like Ed Sheeran and Taylor Swift have had great success with touring and merchandising, and Spotify has helped them promote their live shows to a wider audience.

Influencer Marketing

One final way for artists to increase their streams and revenue on Spotify is through influencer marketing. This strategy involves collaborating with social media influencers who have large followings on platforms like Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok.

By working with influencers to promote their music, artists can reach new audiences and increase their streams and revenue. Influencers can create sponsored posts or videos featuring the artist’s music, share playlists featuring the artist’s music, and more.

Some artists have had great success with influencer marketing on Spotify. For example, rapper Lil Nas X’s hit “Old Town Road” went viral after it was featured in a TikTok video, leading to millions of streams and significant income for the artist.


In conclusion, while making a living as a musician is more challenging than ever, there are still many ways for artists to earn income on Spotify. From streaming royalties to collaborations, playlists, merchandising, live performances, and influencer marketing, there are a variety of methods artists can use to increase their revenue and promote their music. The key is to stay creative, persistent, and dedicated to pursuing your passion.

So keep creating, keep promoting, and keep striving to make the most of the incredible opportunities that streaming platforms like Spotify can offer.

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