Taylor Swift will earn more than $100 million from Spotify in 2023, according to calculations based on her top number of streams of the year posted by the streaming giant in its year-end “Wrapped” tally.
Based on the 26.1 billion streams he’s accumulated since the beginning of the year, and using an average of $0.0035 cents per stream (an imprecise calculation, but a close approximation), he should have earned about $104 million through November only (“ Wrapped ” was cut late last month). Calculating the same numbers for December, the total was closer to $130 million.
Reps for Swift and Spotify did not immediately respond to requests for comment or confirmation.
Other top earners include Bad Bunny, the Weeknd, Drake and Peso Pluma; The Weeknd didn’t even release an album in 2023 but had one of the biggest hits of his career in the late blooming 2016 song “Die for You.” Most if not all of these artists own their masters, but considering that Bad Bunny and Peso Pluma are both signed to independent labels, it’s possible that their respective takes are closer to Swift’s than their streaming numbers suggested.
Of course, while Spotify is the largest streaming service in the world, it is not the only one: Billboard estimates that Swift’s total take from streaming will be around $200 million for 2023 alone.
While such astronomical numbers seem to suggest that streaming pays all musicians, that is not the case: The streaming model pays based on a song or the artist’s total share of global streams. That’s great if the musician in question is Swift, Drake, or the Beatles, who will command a relatively large percentage of total global streams — but that percentage drops dramatically as one goes further up the chain. (“Packed” only the listed numbers for the above. artists), the income is not very profitable.
Universal and Warner Music Groups are experimenting with a different, “artist-centric” payment model in collaboration with France-based streaming service Deezer; go here for details.