New Report Finds 'Unexpected Millionaires' Ruling Spotify

19 March 2024 | 3:00 pm | Mary Varvaris

“You’d be surprised to see the artists who generated a million dollars on Spotify last year.”


Spotify (Source: Supplied)

Spotify has shared its annual Loud & Clear report, which delves into the music streaming giant’s economics and play numbers.

The report intends to provide invaluable information to artists, the wider music industry and fans.

Interestingly, the most fascinating part of this year’s Loud & Clear report revolves around the “Unexpected Millionaires”. By and large, releasing music and putting it onto streaming isn’t exactly making all musicians rich, but the report finds that people who are not “household names” had an incredible 2023.

Local songwriters could be among the artists who pulled in $1 million from Spotify in 2023; they wouldn’t have even needed a “hit” song or to reach Spotify’s most popular playlists. According to the report, 80% of the unexpected millionaires “didn't have a song reach the Top 50 of Spotify’s Daily Global Songs chart.”

While Spotify didn’t list the names, they did leave this teaser, “You’d be surprised to see the artists who generated a million dollars on Spotify last year.”

Another interesting statistic from the new Loud & Clear report details the record year for independent record labels and artists in 2023, who generated the “highest amount from a single retailer in one year.”

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The report found that independent artists and labels generated a whopping $4.5 billion on Spotify last year, accounting for “about half” of what the entire music industry generated, which went above $9 billion. The money generated by Indies last year represents a fourfold increase since 2017.

Elsewhere, the Loud & Clear report praised artists releasing music in languages other than English, with artists from countries where English is not the first language generating at least $10,000 on Spotify.

“Of the 66,000 artists who generated at least $10,000 on Spotify alone – and likely $40,000 across all recorded revenue sources – more than half are from countries where English is not the first language,” the report states.

Spanish, German, Portuguese, French, and Korean are the most popular non-English languages, while Hindi, Indonesian, Punjabi, Tamil, and Greek found new listeners in a major way in 2023.

“Our latest Loud & Clear report shows that Spotify continues to pay out the most money to the music industry among retailers. The US$9B+ is another record-breaking annual payment, and a figure that has almost tripled over the past six years,” Alicia Sbrugnera, Head of Music at Spotify Australia, said in a statement.

Sbrugnera added, “While the broader music industry still considers chart action to be a key metric for breaking an artist, our data shows that 80% of the artists to generate at least US$1M globally didn’t chart on Spotify’s Top 50 Daily Global Songs. This is further proof of Spotify’s ability to help artists generate sustainable revenue across their catalogue.

“It’s also been fascinating to see hard stats demonstrating how Spotify allows music to have a truly global reach, reflecting the diverse nature of the music industry today as a whole. Over half of the 66,000 artists who generated at least $10,000 from Spotify were from countries where English isn’t the first language.”