Spotify Paid Out $9 Billion to Music Industry in 2023, $48 Billion-Plus Since Its Founding

Spotify paid the music industry some $9 billion in 2023, according to a statement from the streaming giant, which added that the “figure has nearly tripled over the past six years, and represents a big part of the $48 billion-plus Spotify has paid since its founding.”

While further details were not immediately available, the company said they will be shared in its annual Loud & Clear report, which will be updated in the coming weeks.

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Last March, the company said it pays out nearly 70% of every dollar it generates from music back to the industry, generating its music revenue from two sources: subscription fees from its Premium platform paying subscribers, and fees from advertisings on music on its Free tier. Those rights holders include record labels, publishers, independent distributors, performance rights organizations and collecting societies.

It is important to note that the payments go to rights holders first — which is rarely the artist or songwriter —which then take their fee or percentage and pay the creators their share.

Earlier this week, Spotify announced that in the fourth quarter of 2023 it added 28 million total monthly active users overall, to reach 602 million, and gained 10 million Premium subscribers to stand at 236 million.

Spotify remains by far the world’s largest paid music-streaming service, with the U.S. its biggest territory.

In a comment last March that is likely to be reiterated when the full 2023 details are announced, the company said of its royalty distributions: “These figures represent revenue generation from Spotify alone. When taking into account earnings from other services and recorded revenue streams, these artists likely generated 4x this revenue from recorded music sources overall.”

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