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News March 10, 2021

Sia, Tones And I among top-earners from Spotify

Senior Journalist, B2B
Sia, Tones And I among top-earners from Spotify

Much has been written and said about Spotify’s pay structure.

The disparity between the haves-and-the-have-very-little has been the subject of a parliamentary inquiry in the U.K., and there’s a groundswell of support for change.

You won’t hear any complaints from Drake, however.

The Canadian hip-hop star has made a fortune from the streaming platform, earning upwards of US$52.5 million for 21.5 billion plays of his music, according to a new report.

Even at the top-end, there’s a sharp divide between the fat cats.

100 top-earning (living) Spotify artists

Some US$15 million separates Drake, the highest earner on Spotify, with the No. 2-ranked ‘Mi Gente’ singer J Balvin, who hauled in nearly US$40 million.

The top female earner? That title belongs to Ariana Grande, her 11.1 billion total streams pulling in US$27 million, good enough for 8th place.

Sia Furler is the highest ranked Aussie, way down the Rich List at No. 42, not far behind streaming-sceptic Taylor Swift at No. 40.

Top Dollar crunched the numbers across the Top 100 earning artists, and the most played songs, including splits on eras and genres.

Tones and I's Spotify’s Front Left Live playlist event in Melbourne, Australia.

Tones and I’s Spotify’s Front Left Live playlist event in Melbourne, Australia.

Tones And I netted a neat US$5 million — or close to — for ‘Dance Monkey,’ which is the third most-streamed song of them all on Spotify, with more than 2 billion plays.

Ed Sheeran’s ‘Shape of You’ is top of the Spotify list, with US$6.5 million earned, from its 2.7 billion streams.

Hip-hop and R&B dominates the study, accounting for 33 of the Top 100 artist, with pop (29 artists) and reggaetón (20) coming in at second and third, respectively.

The long tail theory wags on Spotify, with Queen’s ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ found to be the highest-earning song released before 2010, generating more than $3.3 million.

The data is based on based on a calculation of $0.0049 per stream, with the figure then halved “because top artists only receive about 50% of revenue from streams,” according to the blurb.

Only living artists were counted for the top 100 artists exercise, with data pulled in January 2021.

Spotify K-pop


Of course, the fast majority of recording artists earn peanuts from Spotify.

Still, it’s fascinating to observe how the superstars go about their business of making money.

Read more here

This article originally appeared on The Industry Observer, which is now part of The Music Network.


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