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Spotify now pays music rightsholders $288m every month


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Spotify is ten years old today as a consumer service, having launched on 10 October 2008. Among the stats being put out to celebrate the anniversary is a new figure for payouts. “As of August 31, 2018, we have paid over 10 billion euros to rights holders since launch,” announced Spotify this morning.

That’s up €2bn from the €8bn figure quoted in the company’s DPO filing earlier this year, which covered the period to the end of December 2017. No surprises here if you’ve been following Spotify’s financial results closely, but the new figure indicates that Spotify has been paying out €250m a month to music rightsholders in 2018 – that’s just under $288m.

It’s interesting to see Spotify’s angle on the 10th-birthday celebrations: it’s emphasising “a decade of discovery” complete with new stats on the “listening diversity” of its users. “The number of artists the average user streams per month, has risen on Spotify over the past 10 years at an average of about 8 percent per year,” announced the company.

But it’s accelerating: “In the past three years alone, listening diversity increased about 40 percent on the strength of new personalised and editorial playlists—meaning people are listening to an increased number of artists on a regular basis.”

More data points: the ten most-streamed songs of all-time on Spotify have racked up 12.95bn streams between them, with Ed Sheeran’s ‘Shape of You’ topping the list with 1.94bn streams. Mischievous fact of the day: The YouTube video for ‘Despacito’ has 5.58bn views: nearly as much as the top four tracks on Spotify put together.

If we’re talking about listening diversity, though, the top-end of Spotify remains thoroughly western: Drake, Ed Sheeran, Eminem, The Weeknd, Rihanna, Kanye West, Coldplay, Justin Bieber, Calvin Harris and Ariana Grande are its top ten most-streamed artists. But with Spotify keen to expand into Africa, India, the Middle East and other new territories, we wonder whether this list may have some non-Western names if it’s redone in October 2028…

Stuart Dredge

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