The streaming age has enabled musicians to make money off of their work in ways that weren’t possible before. But exactly how much do you need to stream to make minimum wage?
The answer will depend on a variety of factors, from the type of music you’re creating to the country in which it’s being streamed. However, there is an average rate for streaming services such as Spotify, Apple Music, and Tidal that gives us a ballpark figure.
According to The Trichordist, an independent music advocacy group, the average streaming rate for Spotify is $0.0038 per stream. This means that if you have a song with 1 million streams on Spotify, you can expect to earn around $3,800. That might sound like a lot, but it’s important to remember that this amount is split among all the people involved in creating the song (producers, songwriters, record labels).
So if we assume that you are receiving all of this money (which isn’t the case), then you would need to hit at least 260 million Spotify streams per month in order to make minimum wage (assuming a US federal minimum wage of $7.25/hour). That’s a huge number!
Of course, if you live in a country with a higher minimum wage than $7.25/hour then your required number of streams would be even higher. Additionally, if someone else is involved in creating the song (e.g., producers or songwriters) then your required number of streams would also be higher since they would need to be paid out their share as well.
In conclusion, it takes quite a few Spotify streams for someone to make minimum wage from streaming their music alone. Achieving 260 million monthly streams is an incredibly difficult feat and most musicians will never reach that level of success. However, it’s still possible for independent artists and smaller labels to make money from streaming services by utilizing other monetization strategies such as live performances and merchandise sales.