Reward Music - The New Way

Reward Music - The New Way


The allure of Spotify for an artist, is that they claim to have 422 million listeners.  "If I am on Spotify, everyone will listen to me!" And while a number in the millions seems appealing, keep in mind that 422 million is less than 6% of the world population.

And all you need to do to reach those 422 million listeners is fight you way through all the other artists on Spotify. How hard can that be?  After all, there are only 8 million other artists.  Yes, that is not a typo.  Spotify has 8 million artists all fighting against you to try to earn that tiny $0.004 per stream.  And the list of competing artists is growing every day.

How big is 8 million people you ask?  38 of the 50 States in America have less than 8 million people.  8 million is a lot of people.  In fact, if you add up all the people that live in Wyoming, Vermont, Alaska, South Dakota, North Dakota, Delaware, Montana, Rhode Island, and Maine, you still have just a bit under 8 million people.   Ready to take that on?

But this is where it gets worse….

The main problem with Spotify is that it is tiny.  What?  Didn’t we just say it was big?  Here is the “tiny” problem.

By comparison to the 8 million artists, Spotify has a “tiny” amount of listeners.   If we divide the 422 million listeners by the 8 million artists, this where “tiny” comes in.   422 million listeners divided by 8 million artists means that there are only 53 fans per artist.  53.  (actually 52.75 if we want to talk decimal places)  That is it.  So the incredible fallacy that Spotify doesn’t pay much, but it brings artists massive potential of scale, simply isn’t true.  Yes, it can bring scale to Drake, but it doesn’t have enough listeners to bring the average artist any significant money.  Can you live on $0.004 cents per stream from 53 fans?

And now it’s going to get even worse….

Using Spotify’s own calculator, (available here: if we enter that we have 53 monthly listeners:

Spotify will tell us that just 53 monthly listeners puts us here:

Just 53 monthly listeners would put an artist in the top 21% of all the bands on Spotify.  Which also means that 79% off the artists on Spotify have LESS than 53 monthly listeners.

But is there good news here?  Since just 53 monthly listeners gets us in the top 21%, what do we need to do to get 54 listeners?   Well, that is where the scale comes to bite the artists again.  All an artists needs to do next is fight there way through the 1,694,000 other artists.  Imagine if every person in Wyoming, Vermont, and Alaska were all in one stadium.  The “Big House” in Ann Arbor is the biggest stadium in America and it only holds 107,601.

It would take nearly 16 of these to hold all of the artists you are competing with.  Now imagine that stadium exists and that 1,694,000 people are all listening to Olivia Rodrigo’s Drivers License - last years most streamed song.   Could you walk through that stadium singing your song and get new fans?  Now does it become clear how hard it would be to break thought against the scale of 8 million artists?



By percentage of artists, we have 4.2 times more artists making over $1,000 than on Spotify.  Which means it is 4.2 times easier on Reward Music than on Spotify.


We have 4 times more artists making over $5,000 than on Spotify.


We have 3.85 times more artists making over $10,000 than on Spotify.


And we have 6.5 times more artist making over $50,000 than on Spotify.


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