Spotify says it paid a record $7 billion to the music industry in 2021

Spotify paid $7 billion to the music industry in 2021, “the highest annual payment in the history of a single retailer,” the audio giant said Thursday. He also said that for the first time, more than 1,000 artists have generated over $1 million on Spotify.

Why is this important: Spotify says the data shows “the music industry is healthier than it has been in a long time, and more and more artists are enjoying more success than ever before.”

Details: The data, which was released as part of Spotify’s second annual Loud & Clear industry report, revealed that streaming has significantly helped the music industry grow and helped more artists to be paid.

  • Revenue alone last year exceeded total revenue for the entire music industry every year from 2009 to 2016, according to the report.
  • Major record labels made over $4 billion in profits in 2021 from streaming, while publishing rights holders earned over $1 billion.

Yes, but: The numbers are based on proprietary data from Spotify, so it’s impossible to verify their accuracy.

The big picture: The data suggests that streaming has helped artists get discovered faster and build big businesses themselves.

  • More than 50,000 artists have generated $10,000 from Spotify alone, the streamer said. About a quarter (28%) of artists who have generated more than $10,000 self-distribute to Spotify

Alice P. Darby