• 25 Mar
  • 2 min read
Spotify has revealed it paid more than $7 billion to the music industry in royalties in 2021, an increase of $2 billion spent by the music streaming giant in 2020.

Spotify has revealed that it paid more than $7 billion to the music industry in royalties in 2021, an increase of $2 billion spent by the music streaming giant in 2020. Interestingly, Spotify claims to have paid out “more than any other service,” setting the “record for the highest annual payment from any single retailer” in history. 

In its report Loud & Clear <https://loudandclear.byspotify.com/> , Spotify wrote, “We paid music rights holders more money than ever in 2021: $7+ billion, up from $5+ billion in 2020. That’s more than double what we paid out in 2017 ($3.3 billion) and represents a big part of the $30 billion we’ve paid to rights holders since our founding. Even adjusting for inflation, that $7 billion total is the largest sum paid by one retailer to the music industry in one year in history — including any single retailer at the height of the CD or digital download era.” 

The report further revealed that 130 artists generated over $5 million on Spotify last year, an increase of 160% in the previous five years, while 450 earned $2 million with an increase of 110% for the same period. 

“We celebrated a new landmark this year with over 1,000 artists generating $1 million on Spotify alone. But when artists hit new heights, it’s time to launch additional milestones. New to the site in 2021, since so many artists have far surpassed the $1 million level, we’ve added $2 million and $5 million data to our site. In 2021, 450 artists generated more than $2 million on Spotify — an increase of 110% in five years — and 130 artists generated over $5 million — an increase of 160% in the same period,” the report read. 

However, Spotify did not name any of the over 50,000 artists that benefitted from its streaming service. It is widely believed Bad Bunny, Taylor Swift, BTS, Drake and Justin Bieber, Olivia Rodrigo, were among the best paid 130 artists last year. 

“More artists are hitting milestones across all revenue levels, from $1,000 to $5 million –– and the numbers are accelerating fast. The number of artists who achieved each of these milestones has doubled since 2017. And when taking into account earnings from other services and recorded revenue streams, these artists are likely to be generating 4x these amounts from recorded music overall. For the first time this year, a diverse group of more than 50,000 artists — across different countries, genres, and career stages — generated $10,000 from Spotify and likely over $40,000 across all recorded revenue sources,” the report stated. 

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