Spotify Royalty Payments and Independent Artists

Written by on November 14, 2020

Independent Artists Need Your Support


On the Twitter a few weeks ago Alec Bowman, a folk musician and photographer published his royalty statement. To say it made woeful reading would be an understatement of epic proportions.



What I’ve Been Up To Lately

Getting married to Josienne Clarke, documenting St. Peter’s Seminary, shooting films with Massive Overheads Productions, working on music for Corduroy Punk Records & trying to make ends meet in a global pandemic. CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO MY ALBUM “Mr. Alec Bowman perfectly captures the dark soil under the pastoral world of British folk with…

His statement was based on around 25,000 streams of his music and it highlights one of the biggest problems facing the music industry at present. He earned £11.15 from Spotify, which means they are paying Alec £0.000446 per stream. that is four one-thousandths of a penny per stream. The rest of the streaming services are worse by a factor of 10.

Despite the noise that comes with the release of a new Taylor Swift record (and even she’s not immune to the problems caused by copyright ownership and streaming fees) music is mostly a cottage industry these days. Nearly 60,000 songs were registered for royalty collection with PRS in 2019. Half of those were self-released and only about 15% by the “big three”, Universal, Sony, and Warner Music. Listen to any Duggystone Radio show and it will only take a few minutes for an independently released song to show up.

There is loads of amazingly good music being quietly turned out by people all over the world and played on shows like Brimmo’s Indie Disco. Bands like Cellos who Brimmo featured in show 25. The debut EP ‘Sea or Sky’ from the County Durham based indie rock band is available on Bandcamp, which is the best place to buy if you want to support the artist directly. From its £5.00 cost Cellos will see around £4.00. It would take 7000 streams of their songs on Spotify for them to earn that much. Even the big names see the advantage of being indie. As I write Kylie’s new album ‘Disco’ is number one. It’s owned by her company Darenote and licensed to BMG to release around the world, she keeps control of her music and the income from it.


To keep going in these times when the revenue from live music is all but gone for most artists, supporting however they can earn a bit of cash means that we will go on hearing great new independent music on great independent radio networks.


Written by Tim martin

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