How to Make Money on Spotify

by | Sep 19, 2020 | Uncategorized

Wondering how to make money on Spotify?

Making money on Spotify is easy, especially if you follow the steps outlined in this guide…

But making A LOT of money might be another matter, as this generally takes more work (musicians generally earn considerably less than one cent per stream).

Don’t worry – even if your goal is to OWN the streaming game, you’ll find the following helpful.

So, let’s get into this!

How Can I Make Money on Spotify?

So, the smart aleck answer is to get more streams.

There is magic in simplicity, though, because if you just focus on that one thing day in, day out, your brain will automatically present you with answers to your questions.

If you just focus on that one thing day in, day out, your brain will automatically present you with answers to your questions. Share on X

But I know there’s a reason you’re here and that you’re looking for more.

Just a word of reassurance…

I think you’ll be glad to know that making more money on Spotify isn’t going to require that you become a full-fledged digital marketer, entrepreneur, or publisher.

But it WILL mean doing more of what you love to do – making music!

So, let’s tackle how to make money on Spotify.

Distribute Your Music

You CAN’T make money on Spotify if your music isn’t there.

If you’ve been a musician for a while, this much is obvious. But if you’ve never digitally distributed your music before, then this is going to be news to your ears.

There are several low-cost services that handle this on your behalf. My favorites are CD Baby, DistroKid, and Ditto Music. There are others out there, and you’re always welcome to explore your options before settling on a distribution service.

Ditto Music - Record Label in a Box

Submitting music on your own isn’t just time-consuming or impractical. In many cases, you must become an official partner of Digital Service Providers (DSPs) like Spotify, Apple Music, TIDAL, and others to be able to do it.

So, take advantage of the great services that are already out there.

Publish More Music & Get Streamed

Obviously, the main way to make more money on Spotify is to get it streamed.

We’ve established that you can’t get your music streamed if your music isn’t distributed. But once you’ve started publishing more music, the main way to get streamed more is to publish more.

I’m not saying marketing is unimportant. But oftentimes the best marketing is just releasing more music.

And the good news is there’s no need to reinvent the wheel. In addition to writing new songs, you can:

  • Release instrumental and acoustic versions of your tracks
  • Release current year versions of your tracks
  • Publish live performances
  • Get remixes made
  • Create commentary tracks

The main thing to get over is a perfectionist mindset. Refer to my interview with Jack Conte if that’s something you struggle with.

The issue of mindset is also something I covered extensively in my book The Essential Guide to Music Entrepreneurship.

Either way, if you want to go deeper into the psychology of success, be sure to join my email list.

Beyond publishing, which should be your top priority, you can grow your listenership by:

  • Sharing your music on your website and blog
  • Putting the Spotify logo on all your print materials
  • Emailing your fans
  • Sharing your music on social media
  • Getting your music featured on Spotify playlists
  • Collaborating with your Dream 100 (guest posts, retweets, interviews, reviews, etc.)

You can also check out this video for more tips and tactics:

Claim Your Mechanical Royalties

So, publishing more music and getting streamed is great and “payment per stream”, also known as “master use royalty”, is the biggest slice of the money pie in streaming. The pie is made up of a couple more slices though.

The second slice is mechanical royalties. The third slice is performance royalties (we’ll talk about these in a moment).

Not to worry, you don’t necessarily need to enroll for a degree in entertainment law to begin laying claim to money you might already be owed.

Every time music you’ve written is streamed on Spotify you are owed a mechanical royalty. Basically, mechanical royalties are owed to songwriters.

The weird thing about this is that these royalties aren’t paid directly to songwriters.

In the U.S., these royalties are collected by Harry Fox Agency (HFA).

In Canada, the royalties are paid to Canadian Musical Reproduction Rights Agency (CMRRA).

If you’re located outside of North America, you should be able to find your HFA or CMRRA equivalent HERE.

Sometimes, for an extra fee, your music distributor will collect publishing royalties on your behalf, including royalties owed from radio, TV, films, live venues, and more. CD Baby, for example, has CD Baby Pro.

If you’d like to make sure you’re getting EVERYTHING you’re owed, you should certainly consider paying the extra money for a publishing administrator. It’s just easier that way.

Claim Your Performance Royalties

There’s one other type of royalty you’re owed as a musician, and that’s performance royalties.

As with mechanical royalties, there are organizations that collect royalties for you, and they’re known as Performance Rights Organizations (PROs).

In the States, ASCAP and BMI are your choices (unless you’re already an established artist – then your options begin to broaden).

In Canada, we have SOCAN.

(If I remember right, when I signed up with SOCAN, they also asked me whether I wanted my U.S. PRO to be ASCAP or BMI, so I didn’t need to sign up with both on my own.)

So, again, this is one of those situations where it’s much easier to leave your affairs in capable hands than to try to sort it all out yourself. To be fair, you don’t have any other options.

With all your accounts set up, you can rest assured you’re getting everything you’re owed for every stream you get.

Thinking Outside the Box

This section of the post is ONLY for those who are going:

“Okay, so I get everything you’re saying and how it will lead to making more money on Spotify. BUT. I’m looking for something more to chew on.”

You’re in luck.

Because I don’t know anyone who spends more time thinking outside the box in the music business than I (and I say that with all due respect to all the other great musician coaches and music educators out there!).

But this still comes with a simple warning – keep it simple and don’t bite off more than you can chew. A good strategy executed with focus wins out on an amazing strategy executed with shiny object syndrome.

A good strategy executed with focus wins out on an amazing strategy executed with shiny object syndrome. Share on X

We’ve got a rather extensive archive of content on our blog, and I’ve handpicked a few I think you’ll find interesting:

How to Make Money on Spotify, Final Thoughts

Spotify profits are out there for you to take.

But you’ve got to:

  • Make music
  • Distribute and publish new music regularly
  • Ensure you’re getting the royalties you’re owed
  • Promote and share the music you’ve made
  • Get your music on playlists
  • Think outside the box and look for as many opportunities to promote your music as possible (because they’re out there!)

You are now armed with everything you need to go and earn those Spotify profits.

But if you have any questions, make sure to leave them in the comments below! 👇