Music Business

Daniel Ek Expects Spotify To Pay Out $500 Million To Rights Holders in 2013

Danielek-238x238By Eliot Van Buskirk of

Spotify chief executive and co-founder Daniel Ek dropped a startling statistic at Los Angeles’ Innovation Forum event on Tuesday: that his freemium music service is on track to pay out $500 million to music copyright holders over the course of this year. That’s a big number — and it also happens to be equivalent to what Spotify has paid out in every other year combined, according to Ek (Spotify launched in October 2008, only in Sweden, and now reaches over 17 countries including the United States, which is the world’s biggest music market).

This is one reason I think people who complain about Spotify payouts might be a little premature (although certainly, if someone only listens to your stuff once, it doesn’t pay out much).

This $500 million payout is also about one sixth of Spotify’s total valuation, most recently reported to be $3 billion. Spotify now has approximately as many songs as users — over 20 million of each — with about a quarter of those paying for a subscription.

Of course, it’s debatable how much of that money will filter through to artists (both the recording and songwriting kind), because that depends on their individual contracts with their labels and publishers, but no matter how you slice it, $500 million in revenue is nothing to sneeze at.

Also, we should note that we are not at Innovation Forum today; this news comes from Billboard’s Alex Pham (via J Herskowitz):

According to’s calculations, Spotify could earn $1 billion in overall revenue in 2013, too.


Share on:


Comments are closed.