Fewer DIY Musicians earned $10K+ on Spotify last year than year before

57,000 artists earned more than $10,000 a year on Spotify in 2022, the streamer proudly shared during its recent Stream On Event, up 8.3% over 2021. It was also the first year that 10,000 artists earned more than $100,000 each on the platform.

But a closer look at Spotify’s own data reveals a different story for D.I.Y artists who use self-serve platforms like CD Baby, TuneCore, and DistroKid to distribute their music.

Instead of being part of the 8.3% increase, D.I.Y. musicians earning more than $10,000 a year from Spotify actually decreased about 3% from 15,140 in 2021 to 14,700 last year.

MBW’s Tim Ingham spotted the decline during his usual deep dive into Spotify’s annual Loud & Clear report, released alongside Stream On.

What does all this mean for D.I.Y. Musicians?

Despite impressive additions to the Spotify For Artists toolkit and CEO Daniel Ek’s original promise to help “1 million creators earn a living on Spotify,” things appear headed the wrong way for D.I.Y. musicians on the platform.

The D.I.Y. decline could also be seen as poking a hole in recent claims by label bosses that too much music is draining royalties and attention from their signed artists.

The bottom line is that while it’s easier than ever to record and distribute music, it’s harder than ever to earn a living doing it.

Bruce Houghton is the Founder and Editor of Hypebot and MusicThinkTank, a Senior Advisor at Bandsintown, President of the Skyline Artists Agency, and a professor for the Berklee College Of Music.

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