How to Make Money on Spotify: A Musician’s Guide

Music DistributionMusic Promotion
How to Make Money on Spotify: A Musician’s Guide

With Spotify leading the music streaming industry, it’s no wonder that many artists find themselves wondering how to make money on Spotify these days.

The truth is that with over 345 million active users, there is potential to generate revenue, but understanding the nuances of monetization on this platform is key to sucess.

In this article, we’ll explore how Spotify’s payments work and how you can fine-tune your Spotify presence to amplify your earnings.

Understanding Spotify’s Royalty System

Spotify’s royalty payments system can be complex to understand.

The platform operates on a pro-rated payment system where total revenue is pooled together and then distributed based on the share of total streams between artists.

To understand how a pro-rated revenue pool works imagine you’re in a revenue pool with another artist that’s worth 100$.

If you get one stream while the other artist gets 99, you get 1$.

But, if in the same pool, that artist gets 9,999 streams and you get 1, you get 1 cent while the other artist gets $99.99.

That’s why pro-rated revenue pools don’t have a set dollar amount for a single stream.

Instead, a stream’s value fluctuates by the number of artists, streams and dollars in a specific revenue pool.

A stream’s value fluctuates by the number of artists, streams and dollars in a specific revenue pool.

Spotify is said to have many revenue pools of varying sizes that are based on subscriber type, genre and country which can affect your royalty checks.

For example, having a high number of monthly listeners in a popular genre will likely place you in a larger revenue pool, than someone producing ambient ASMR music.

If you’re new to Spotify and need a basic guide to how royalties work on the platform, check out our earlier post on Spotify Royalties.

Still, there’s one guiding north star for any artist looking to monetize their music—more streams mean more money.

So let’s take a look at how you can generate as many streams as possible and harness a few of Spotify’s creator-centric monetization tools.

Releasing music soon? Watch this.

How to make money on Spotify, 5 tips for artists

The best way to make money on Spotify is to simply release great and memorable music that captures the cultural moment and connects with listeners.

So focus on your craft, stay true to your art and never stop getting better at writing music.

Of course, once you have a great product, you still can benefit from putting effort into promoting and monetizing your music.

So here’s how to make money on Spotify with five strategies that take advantage of Spotify’s streaming payouts, monetization tools and analytics.

1. Distribute your music and promote it

More streams mean more money, it’s that simple.

But how do you get there? Start with getting high-quality recordings that resonate with your target audience on Spotify.

But just creating the music is not enough. You’ll need to choose a digital music distribution service that gets your tunes on all streaming platforms.

LANDR Distribution, for example, is a service that offers these tools.

Then, amplify your presence through social media, email campaigns, and collaborating with other artists.

Engage with your listeners by sharing behind-the-scenes content and encourage fans to stream your upcoming releases on day one by hosting a pre-save campaign.

It’s about growing your audience to the point where your streams start bringing in revenue, to do that you’ll need an effective music promotion strategy that uses Spotify’s promotion tools.

2. Get on Spotify playlists for exposure

Playlists are the mixtapes of the digital age and a crucial vehicle for exposure on Spotify.

Getting featured on a playlist can be a game-changer. But how do you pitch to Spotify-curated playlists?

This guide to Pitching Playlists offers a roadmap to crafting a compelling pitch, identifying the right playlists, and making a lasting impression on curators.

3. Collaborate with bigger artists in your niche

Networking isn’t just for business moguls; it’s vital for artists too.

Collaborating with other musicians and artists not only broadens your creative horizons but also introduces you to new audiences.

Partner with artists whose fans vibe with your music—whether that’s finding a prominent guest to feature on a track or hiring photographers and artists with a following to create art for your releases.

4. Sell merch and concert tickets

While streams are the bread and butter of how to make money on Spotify, don’t put all your eggs in one basket.

Merchandise sales and concert tickets can also be promoted through Spotify.

To sell merch on Spotify, you need claim your Spotify for Artists profile and upload your merch items to the platform.

You can sell CDs, clothing, vinyl and whatever else your project has on offer.

If you plan on touring, be sure to list your events on popular event websites like Eventbrite or Ticketmaster.

Spotify actively looks at these sites and will promote ticket purchase links to any shows your project has upcoming on your main artist page.

5. Make use of Spotify Analytics

Data is your ally. Spotify for Artists provides a wealth of analytics that can help you understand who’s listening, where they’re from, and what songs they love.

Big in Stockholm? Use this intel to plan tours, time your releases, and target your marketing efforts.

Understanding how Spotify’s analytics dashboards work and how you can use them is easy, here’s the best way to harness the power of Spotify analytics.

Making money on Spotify is possible

But it’s not the only way to make money as an artist. In fact, it’s just one of many revenue streams available to you.

Earning money on Spotify is a marathon, not a sprint. It requires patience, strategy, and dedication to your craft as an artist.

Remember, nothing can replace the power of releasing good music that’s genuine, unforgettable and captures the cultural moment.

With the right approach, you can turn streams into revenue and fans into superfans.

Keep crafting those tunes, and use these tips to ensure your music finds the audience it deserves on Spotify.

Alex Lavoie

Alex Lavoie is a drummer, music producer, songwriter and marketing professional living in Montreal, Quebec. He works as a staff writer at LANDR by day and writes indie post-punk tunes in his band UTILS while moonlighting as drummer for folk-rock outfit The Painters. Connect with Alex Lavoie on LANDR Network!

@Alex Lavoie

Gear guides, tips, tutorials, inspiration and more—delivered weekly.

Keep up with the LANDR Blog.