Spotify has been making a lot of headlines ever since Taylor Swift's decision to pull all of her music from the service this past month. Swift has claimed that the decision was based on her belief that music and art have value, and deserve to be paid for, which prompted many of Spotify's 40 million users to research just how much exactly artists were making per stream. Luckily, TIME magazine recently made the statistics a lot more clear by calculating the earnings of the top artists on Spotify in 2014.
The streaming service, which makes most of its profits from ad revenue, currently pays artists between $.0006 - $.0084 per song stream, which factors into the predictions for the artists' earnings. So far the top song for the year is Calvin Harris's "Summer" with 203 million streams, followed closely by Katy Perry's "Dark Horse" and John Legend's "All Of Me." The calculator also allows you to break up the song charts by month through October of this year.
Still, even with these impressive statistics on the site, these artists do seem to be an exception to the rule. A lot of artists have learned that Spotify is a double edged sword: many artists are stuck in that no man's land where their songs are just popular enough that people will stream them without buying, but not popular enough to make much any impressive revenue. Worse still are the more than four million songs that have never even been played on the app, which prompted the creation of "Forgotify," a service that plays exclusively from the unplayed songs (and is also quite punny).
It'll be interesting to see if Swift's move prompts other artists to follow, and if it will even help the situation. But in the meantime, we can all calibrate our Spotify playlists around her, and look at all the money these charting artists make and vicariously pretend to spend their money on responsible things like yachts and blow up castles and glittery shoes.
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