Taylor Swift will earn more than $100 million from Spotify in 2023, according to calculations based on her leading number of streams for the year posted by the streaming giant in its year-end “Wrapped” tally.
Based on the 26.1 billion streams she has accumulated since the beginning of the year, and using an average of $0.0035 cents per stream (an inexact calculation, but close enough to speculate), she would have earned around $91.35 million through November alone (“Wrapped” cut off late last month). Assuming similar numbers for December, the total would be closer to $130 million.
More from Variety
Reps for Swift and Spotify did not immediately respond to requests for comment or confirmation.
Other top earners included 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 with 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 might suggest.
Of course, while Spotify is the world’s largest streaming service, it is hardly the only one: Billboard estimated that Swift’s total take from streaming could be nearly $200 million for 2023 alone.
While such astronomical numbers might seem to suggest that streaming pays all musicians well, that is hardly the case: The streaming model pays based on a song or artist’s total share of global streams. That’s great if the musician in question is a Swift, Drake, or Beatles, who would command a relatively huge percentage of total global streams — but that percentage drops dramatically as one goes further down the chain (“Wrapped” only listed numbers for the above artists), the earnings are much less lucrative.
Universal and Warner Music Groups have been experimenting with a different, “artist-centric” payment model in collaboration with the France-based streaming service Deezer; head here for details.
Best of Variety