Making Money From Music

When Does Spotify Pay Artists? When Will I Get Paid?

You’ve been releasing music through and online music distribution service for a month or two now, but when you check the bank, there’s still $0.00 in it. What a disappointment! What is going on here, and when is Spotify going to pay you?

Don’t worry, it’s completely normal. Spotify has a pretty long and complicated process when it comes to working out royalty payments and then paying out to millions of people. What this means is you should typically expect a 2-3 month delay between when you receive a stream and when you get paid for those streams. For example, say you’ve looked in your Spotify Artists app and see that you’ve received 10,000 streams in the month of November. You likely won’t receive the royalty payments for these streams until January or February the following year. Without further ado, lets get into the commonly asked questions around when Spotify will pay out for you.

Why Does Spotify Take so Long to Pay Me?

According to, Spotify has over 11 million different artists on its platform, and billions of streams per month. Crunching all this data and figuring out exactly how to pay everyone is a pretty gargantuan task, which is partly why Spotify takes a while to pay you. This is pretty much standard practice across all music streaming services. It’s usually going to be a two to three month delay.

How Often Does Spotify Pay Royalties?

This partly depends on your music distribution service, but for the sake of ease lets say you use DistroKid. Once you have waited the original 2-3 month delay, you will continue to be paid on a delay, but once a month. This means that although at first you will have a couple of months without receiving income, following on from this you should be getting paid once per month from here, assuming you receive more streams.

How Much Will Spotify Pay Me?

If you know how many streams you have received in a particular month, you can use this rough calculation to estimate how much you will receive for your Spotify streams received. Take the number of streams and multiply it by 0.002. Why this number? 0.002 is the rough income in dollars for how much I have received per stream over the last 4 years.

Spotify Estimated Royalties Calculation

This number will vary from person to person as a bunch of different factors go into making up 0.002 for me. If you want to learn more about that check out my article here.

Do I need a Minimum Number of Streams for Spotify to Pay Out?

In theory, no. If you’ve even received just $0.01 in royalty income, Spotify will probably pay you. Whether you are able to withdraw this $0.01 from your music distribution company is another matter though. Most online music distribution services have a minimum withdrawal about of at least $5.00.

I’ve Received More Streams Than Spotify Has Paid For…

You probably haven’t. Spotify is pretty accurate when it comes to paying royalties, and the only explanation is either that you haven’t been paid for those streams yet (see above) or they have perhaps detected bot streams. If you have been detected as receiving fraudulent streams there is a reasonable chance that Spotify will not pay out for them. Remember, if this is you, don’t do it! You won’t get paid for the streams, and in fact streaming services can pull your album if they suspect you’ve been doing some fishy stuff. Never, NEVER, try to boost your own numbers. That goes for everything of this nature, whether it’s ads on a website or watching your own YouTube video on loop, it’s just a terrible idea and will never pay off. Please.