Why does James Blunt make so little from Spotify? It’s all about popularity (Wired UK)

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James Blunt has revealed how much he makes per track streamed on Spotify — and it’s rather underwhelming.

Blunt took to Twitter this week to poke fun at his Spotify earnings — which he claims are £0.0004499368 per track streamed.

This isn’t the first time Spotify has been under fire for how much it pays to artists. Taylor Swift famously pulled her discography from Spotify, claiming that the music service didn’t “value art”.

And, slightly less tactfully, Radiohead’s Thom Yorke described it as “the last desperate fart of a dying corpse” after pulling his solo work. Other artists who have had disputes or objections to Spotify include AC/DC, The Beatles, The Black Keys and Morrissey

So how much is he actually making?

The Maths

£0.0004499368 — amount James Blunt claims he gets per track streamed on Spotify

401,996,843 — number of times James Blunt’s top ten tracks have been played on Spotify

£180,873.17 — roughly how much James Blunt will have made from these tracks

3,400,000  — average number of streams James Blunt gets per month

£1,529.78 — amount James Blunt is likely to make from Spotify per month 

£29,972 — how much James Blunt would have made, via Spotify, from his 2004 single You’re Beautiful

But these figures are far from definitive.

Royalties are calculated by Spotify on a number of factors, including what country a song is streamed from, the number of paid users streaming and an artist’s royalty rates. This last figure is based upon how popular an artist is on Spotify — in 2013 the streaming service explained that a classic rock album generated $17,000 (£1,100) in royalties per month, while a global hit album generated $425,000 (£275,000).

It is likely Blunt’s royalties are low because he would not be considered a top artist on Spotify. Although his tracks are streamed 3.4 million times a month, this is only a fraction of Spotify’s overall streams — hence his relatively low monthly revenue.

By way of comparison, Ed Sheeran, one of the most popular artists on Spotify, has amassed 507,905,818 streams for Thinking Out Loud.

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20 October 2015 | 4:44 pm – Source: wired.co.uk


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