Spotify is a frequent subject people ask me about. Here are some data, and comparison to iTunes downloads.
- In 9 months (since February), my music has half a million streams on Spotify.
- My label Uncanny Planet earned 500 USD for this.
- This makes me an average of 0.001 USD per track played.
Now lets look at this from another angle, iTunes:
- My Reminiscience album is sold for USD 11 in iTunes.
- Uncanny Planet receives approx USD 7 for each sold unit.
So then, lets zoom out and take a fascinating overview of streaming versus download, from an artist viewpoint:
- It takes 600 album plays in Spotify to match one iTunes album download.
- For singles, it takes 7200 plays to match a download.
I don't know how this compares to other artists, labels or streaming solutions, but those there are my current numbers, after Spotify and my aggregator (digital distributor) Artspages has taken their cut.
Since I run my own label, and control all my own rights, I personally end up with most of that, after splitting with vocalists, collaborators and/or sample license costs. Other artists in a typical label deal would see a percentage of that sum, usually between 10 and 50, depending on their contract.
The Spotify income is by far the largest streaming source for my music, but still only a very very small fraction of my total digital distribution income.
My expected digital income for 2009 are slightly lower than 2008, although my overall activity is rising. This is an effect of more people streaming than buying. If this trend continues, hopefully either streaming listeners or streaming rates will grow massively enough to compensate for the loss of paid downloads.
I do not have any piracy stats, but I notice my albums are continuously growing and spreading on sharing sites. I'm not too worried about piracy and file sharing, but it would be intriguing to access stats and data for this segment, especially to compare my data and web presence with data from artists utilizing other philosophies.
I am not going to conclude anything, these are just observations; raw numbers and facts. It will be interesting to compare these rates at various points in time.
I expected the road to the future Shangri-La of digital music to be a long and windy one, and it certainly is. We are climbing along treacherous ravines, and speeding through narrow mountain passes. But it is a very exciting road, there are magnificent views up here, fresh air, and even if there is no secret green paradise at the end of the road it certainly is a great trip!