A study found that 1 percent of artists generate 90 percent of all music streams, according to Digital Music News. The study, conducted by analytics firm Alpha Data, said that about 1.6 million artists have put their music on streaming platforms in the past year. Of those, about 16,000 have secured 90 percent of streams.
Additionally, the top 10 percent of artists accounted for 99.4 percent of all music streams, leaving 0.6 percent for 1.44 million musicians.
The study is significant as Spotify and other streaming platforms have very low royalty rates. Spotify pays artists between $0.003 and $0.005 per stream for most musicians, according to Digital Music News.
In July, Spotify CEO Daniel Elk said that he believes artists not being paid enough from streaming revenue is a “narrative fallacy” and that the new music landscape requires “continuous engagement with fans.”
Spotify, along with Amazon, Pandora, Google and other streaming platforms, gained a victory in August following a decision from the Copyright Royalty Board. The board had voted in 2018 to approve a 44 percent songwriter royalty increase for the streaming platforms. The decision was then appealed by Spotify and Pandora.
The panel in August seemed to agree that “If presented with the prospect of smaller royalty payments (to cover the bolstered mechanical rate), record labels could opt to remove their music from streaming platforms like Spotify and Pandora.”