Spotify passes 500 million users and reveals $40 billion total payout to music rights-holders

Spotify passes 500 million users and reveals $40 billion total payout to music rights-holders

Spotify has hosted its second Stream On event, which featured artists, songwriters, video and content creators alongside the streaming giant’s executives.

Spotify hosted hundreds of creators in the Los Angeles Arts District, where they heard from company leaders and industry icons (in-person and virtually), including Ed Sheeran, GloRilla, Halsey, Jennifer Lopez, The Jonas Brothers, Karol G, Luke Combs, St Vincent and Tash Sultana. 

“Stream On is about all the ways we are bringing Spotify to life and letting creators at all stages of their careers know that we are open for business,” Spotify founder & CEO Daniel Ek said at the keynote presentation. “We are focused on building the best home for them – a place where they can establish a career, thrive and grow and where the world can be inspired by their creativity. 

“And that’s what we’ve been doing for almost 17 years: building, improving and reimagining this home to better meet creator needs and help them chart new pathways to success. As we look to the future, we are excited to expand that ambition to even more creators across new formats. We’re enabling more creativity, discovery and personalisation than ever before by providing the best resources, support, and interactivity.”

The livestreamed event included various demonstrations and announcements, including the news that Spotify now has 500 million monthly active users (MAU). 

They will all now get access to a revamped Spotify with a completely new and interactive design, which aims to “drive deeper and long-lasting connections between creator and listeners”.

Smart Shuffle is a new way to inject new music to complement an existing playlist. 

New Feeds for discovery in Search will allow users to scroll to explore short Canvas clips from tracks from some of their favourite genres. Users can preview tracks on playlists like Discover Weekly, Release Radar, New Music Friday or RapCaviar. 

Spotify recently unveiled DJ, a new personalised AI guide that transforms how listeners hear and discover music. 

We’re enabling more creativity, discovery and personalisation than ever before by providing the best resources, support, and interactivity

Daniel Ek

“Spotify recommendations drive close to half of all users’ streams,” said Gustav Söderström, Spotify co-president and chief product & technology officer. “And when listeners decide to follow a creator, they listen to, on average, five times more of their music. That’s why discoveries on Spotify - unlike many other platforms - give creators so much more than just a fleeting moment of viral fame. Those meaningful, long-term connections are a key part of what makes Spotify a platform for professional and aspiring artists.”

The Stream On event also featured the latest Loud & Clear report from Spotify. As of 2022, Spotify’s all-time payouts to the music industry are approaching $40 billion (both recording and publishing royalties). Spotify accounts for more than 20% of global recorded music revenue, according to the report.

This year’s update shows that the number of artists generating $1m, as well as those generating $10,000+, has more than doubled over the past five years. Additionally, Spotify estimated that the 50,000th highest-earning artist on Spotify generated more than $50,000 across all recorded revenue sources. 

Spotify also unveiled a suite of tools for artists.

Marquee is a full-screen, sponsored recommendation of a new release, focused on reaching listeners who have shown interest in an artist’s music. 

Discovery Mode is a tool through which artists and their teams identify priority songs, and Spotify will add that signal to the algorithms that shape personalised listening sessions. 

Showcase is a mobile card on the home feed, which will introduce an artist’s music to likely listeners. It will be more widely available in the near future.

The company also shared more details on the next revenue line it wants to help artists grow: merchandise and live events. Listeners will begin to see merch offers and concert listings in more places across the app.  

Spotify is also expanding its Fans First programme to include more artists, ensuring top listeners receive emails and notifications that give them special access to concert pre-sales and merch exclusives.


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