zoe keating

Independent musician Zoë Keating has been one of the key sources for anyone trying to understand the music-streaming economy for many years now.

She first published her sales and streaming data (income included) in August 2012, following up with updates in August 2013 and March 2015 (among others – these were the ones we reported on). She’s preparing for another such publication by the end of 2019, but yesterday she dropped a stat on Twitter which is already sparking discussion.

“A deposit appeared in my account today and so I am sharing it as an artist data point…even though few people give a hoot about this anymore,” wrote Keating. “Sept 2019. 206,011 Spotify streams. $753. $0.003655144628199 per stream.” (0.37 cents per stream, for ease of comprehension.)

Keating clarified that this is sound-recording royalties paid by her distributor RouteNote, which does not take a cut (it operates on a flat annual-fee basis). As such, this is one of the purest middleman-free indications of Spotify economics for an independent musician.

While the ensuing discussion on Twitter may have been making Spotify execs’ ears burn, we’re looking forward to Keating’s fuller data-drop in December, which will make it clear how those Spotify earnings sit within (and have an impact on) her other revenue streams, like Bandcamp.

Music Ally’s next Learn Live webinar will help you understand what’s required for artists to thrive in new international markets!

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Stuart Dredge

Music Ally's Head of Insight

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