Benefits of Spotify and other streaming services?

  • Hey, guys.


    I hear a lot of good music from folks here, and usually the first thing someone asks is if it's on Spotify and / or other streaming services. I know most of them don't pay much, so I was wondering what you get from putting your music on them. I get the sense that Sound Cloud is handy for just having a place to share your songs if you don't have your own website. However, it seems like "being on Spotify" is a thing in and of itself.


    Was hoping some of you could share what you get by having a presence on the various streaming services. I don't play bars anymore, so I' m wondering if there's any benefit to my songs being on streaming services rather than just having them on my own website.

  • I don't have any music there, but if nothing else you'll get your tunes heard by a much wider audience. There are lots of people who discover new tunes that are in a similar category that you're in.

    I really like the service, and pay for it, but from what I've heard/read the monetization to the artist is pretty thin.

  • This is my perspective as a "serious" hobbiest musician with a day job who doesn't aim to make any money from music. If you send your friends a Bandcamp link, you'll be lucky if they listen to it once all the way through. If you send them a Spotify link, they think you're special (they don't realize it just takes $40 or so for a Distrokid account) and add the song to their playlists. Then maybe you get lucky and other playlists add one of your songs, and you get a lot more exposure.


    Also, if my music is on Spotify, I can listen to it along with other music that isn't mine.


    Finally, it's kind of a fun thing to see your own band recommended to you in a playlist.

  • Played with a few musicians who have enough contempt for Spotify to take legal action against them.

    Maybe they expected too much. I'm playing on some of their songs with no monetary expectations.

    I took my vow of poverty and I'm sticking with it.8)

    Started out with nothing and still have most of it left.

    Gotta Kemper though.

  • I have thought about it a lot ... I have my music there and I can say that it is available to most. In my opinion, Spotify has managed to position itself as the standard platform. Now, if we talk about royalties, what one gets as a musician is practically nothing. Sure, I don't have the listeners I want to have. But, even having them, I think it would be the same story... If i'm not mistaken, what is paid for playback depends on the listener's account (standard or premium) and it's around US $0.006. If we do calculations... one works to compose, record, mix, master, etc.... and finally feed the libraries of the platforms. At the end of the day the results are a bit frustrating. But hey, the rules of the game today are these ... we will have to keep working!!!

  • Take a look at http://www.songtradr.com


    Subscribing with them includes the option for free distribution with Spotify (and others, but, it also includes other opportunities that can provide much more income than just streaming. It depends on what kind of music you have, of course. I've been doing well enough to continue with income from "in store radio", but I have friends who have songs that have been used in TV commercials.

  • To me Spotify is like a venue owner that owns all of the venues and you have to play for "exposure".

    I don't use or promote their service, but everyone else seems to, so I don't say anything because nobody cares what the details are if they can listen for free.

  • I don't have any music there, but if nothing else you'll get your tunes heard by a much wider audience. There are lots of people who discover new tunes that are in a similar category that you're in.

    As a classic rock musician I'm pretty much speaking a dead language, especially when it comes to live music in originals venues , so maybe Spotify and its brethren are the only way to be heard. Even so, as many have pointed out in other threads about the current virus realities, it's just not the same as being in front of real, live human beings.

    This is my perspective as a "serious" hobbiest musician with a day job who doesn't aim to make any money from music. If you send your friends a Bandcamp link, you'll be lucky if they listen to it once all the way through. If you send them a Spotify link, they think you're special (they don't realize it just takes $40 or so for a Distrokid account) and add the song to their playlists. Then maybe you get lucky and other playlists add one of your songs, and you get a lot more exposure.

    Yeah, it definitely seems like Spotify is where the cool kids are.

    I took my vow of poverty and I'm sticking with it.8)

    Screw that! I'm a red-blooded American capitalist. :)


    I've done the giving blood and sleeping on floors thing. As it turns out, poverty is overrated. Of course, any absence of poverty has very little to do with my guitar, so there is that...

    it's around US $0.006.

    That's on par with YouTube for popular content. It seems like ad based streaming / payments range between $2 to $6 per thousand views / listens.

    Take a look at http://www.songtradr.com


    Subscribing with them includes the option for free distribution with Spotify (and others, but, it also includes other opportunities that can provide much more income than just streaming. It depends on what kind of music you have, of course. I've been doing well enough to continue with income from "in store radio", but I have friends who have songs that have been used in TV commercials.

    Yeah, it seems like licensing is a much better potential payoff than the ad based rates for streaming services. I know there are a lot of guys who focus solely on placement for TV, films, etc. and do pretty well with it.

    you have to play for "exposure".

    I'm pretty sure I know what part of my anatomy gets exposed in such cases.

  • The only benefit of Spotify is helping your exposure towards a potential listener.

    Other than that it’s the main instrument that keeps today's devaluation of music in general in place.

    When it all started the record companies, hypocritical as they were/are, supplied all the content while screwing all the artists (i.e. content creators) and at the same time benefitting from deals with the platforms that we customers/artists don’t know of.
    From then on there was no way back.


    Personally as a consumer I went from a Spotify subscription to Apple Music because they pay the artist roughly twice as more per stream than Spotify.
    Oh and I still buy CDs of bands I want to support.

  • Was hoping some of you could share what you get by having a presence on the various streaming services. I don't play bars anymore, so I' m wondering if there's any benefit to my songs being on streaming services rather than just having them on my own website.


    If you offer your music for free listening anyway than there is no reason for not being available on streaming services. As an example if you make around 100$/mo. from Website and Bandcamp sales or anything like that you need around 25k streams on Spotify. (depends on your aggregator deal or if that's the case the label deal). That is only possible if you have either a fan base big enough or you get on playlists. Only if your songs are popular by plays you will be suggested to other users or get into the algorithmic playlists. There are two types of playlists, editorial ones from Spotify and user playlists.

    The only way to get direct influence to Spotify editorial lists is with new releases, there you can suggest your music to the Spotify editorial team and with some luck and good produced music you have a chance to be on "New <insert_genre> Tracks" and so on. Beside that for other editorial playlists you need to have an audience big enough.

    User playlists can be the key for unknown artists to grow their fanbase on Spotify, there are many popular and large playlists from users.

    The more special and sub-genre like the music is the harder it will be to get some serious stats out of this because the potential audience is smaller. On the other hand, normally those listeners are a lot more loyal to what they like and keep listening to it or send it out to friends and so on.

    Because of the huge amount of new music getting released every day it is nearly impossible to get plays without self-promotion.

    For independent artists it's an individual decision. If you make some serious money of your normal physical and/or digital sales and your music is more for a smaller audience it could be the wrong way to loose some kind of exclusivity and make it available in the streaming world.

  • it is nearly impossible to get plays without self-promotion.

    That's what it all comes down to. It's not enough to throw your music at Spotify, just like it wasn't enough to just stick one vinyl album into the piles of vinyls at a record store back in the old days. Promotion will likely take more of your time than it took you to compose, arrange, produce and publish your songs. If you're not ready to invest this much effort then there's very little point in putting your music up on Spotify, imho.

  • This is I guess a wider question about value of music created.


    We all know its changed so much in the last 5-10 years. Music is technically easier to create ( Billy Eilish has been doing it all out of a home studio) and has become devalued as a result. Music can be cheaply accessed via youtube, Spotify etc... The net result is that the artist suffers with their product being devalued.


    Spotify is a further reflection of this.


    I don;t have much experience in the commercial side of music but I strongly suspect what has been said above is correct - Spotify makes sense but don;t expect much of a commercial return.