Spotify has launched Loud & Clear, a new web portal that contains data on how Spotify streams are determined and paid out. Months later, the site launched today outside the Spotify offices after a series of protests by the Union of Musicians and Allied Workers. Spotify Founder / CEO Daniel Ek announced the initiative, saying, “57,000 artists now represent 90% of the monthly streams on Spotify – a number that has quadrupled in just six years. Our goal is to help musicians who are making a living or who are professional to make a living. “

Charlie Hellman, Vice President and Head of Marketplace at Spotify, who has been with the company for a decade, tells Pitchfork that the initiative aims to give artists and songwriters more transparency about the streaming economy. “All of my time at Spotify, artist payouts and royalties have been an everyday issue – but I think we haven’t been saying as much externally as we should be adding more to the conversation,” he said. “That’s exactly what we’re trying to do here: share a little more and acknowledge that artists really deserve more clarity on how this streaming music economy works.”

Loud & Clear offers a variety of resources to do this, including a video titled Loud & Clear: How The Money Flows, and a section with multiple graphs detailing how many artists are achieving different sales thresholds on Spotify. According to the data, 870 artists generated over $ 1 million each for recording and publishing royalties in 2020. 1,820 generated over $ 500,000; 7,800 generated over $ 100,000; and 13,400 generated over $ 50,000.

Hellman claims that Spotify’s incentives are in line with artists’. He cites the dates and the massive year-over-year growth of artists achieving these royalties. For example, the number of artists who can earn royalties of $ 50,000 or more per year with Spotify has increased 80% in four years, from 7,300 in 2017 to 13,400 in 2020.

“If you look at these graphs of how artists with different earnings thresholds have grown over the past four years, you can clearly see that Spotify has invested in a more engaging customer experience: better programming, introduction to new countries, all of this. We invest in our business – they grow the cake for everyone, ”Hellman said. “We are constantly testing to find out what the sales-maximizing price is for [any given] Market, because if we can find the sales-maximizing price, that’s best for Spotify and best for all artists. As we increase our income, the artists’ income grows. As we improve our program, more artists can fit in and have a chance to attract an audience. “