Making Money From Music

How Often Does Spotify Pay Out? Royalties Explained

If you are an independent musician, Spotify will most likely pay your music royalties via the online music distribution service you use to release your music – but how often do they pay?

Spotify Logo
Spotify Logo

Spotify is one of the better streaming platform when it comes to payments. From my experience they have always been accurate and pay promptly, although there can be a delay between when your music distribution service pays you and when Spotify pays them. In theory, Spotify will pay once per month. They tally all the streams across your tracks on a month by month basis and then pay you, typically on a 3 month delay. This means you will be paid for the streams you received in January in March-April. Remember, it is entirely possible that your music distribution service is slow and that you may have to wait for over three months between the time a stream was received and when you finally receive your hard earned Spotify Royalties from it.

So if you aren’t being paid by Spotify yet for your music streams, here are a couple of potential causes:

Spotify Takes 2-3 Months to Report

Spotify takes 2-3 months to pay your first royalties, and them from there you will receive them monthly, assuming your online music distributor is good. It may be the case that you haven’t received any earnings because it simply hasn’t been long enough for Spotify to process and pay your royalties yet.

You Don’t Have Any Streams

This would be very sad, but it is completely possible to release music on Spotify and get 0 streams. They don’t pay you if you stream your own music by the way, and doing it too much (enough to cause suspicion of streaming fraud) is a great way to get your music pulled from stores.

Your Music Distribution Service Works In Mysterious Ways

If you’re lucky and have picked a good online music distributor like DistroKid, chances are you won’t encounter any pay related issues. If you decided to opt for a less well known one, perhaps with a much smaller user base, there is a chance that they are doing a lot of the grunt work manually and thus take a lot longer to process royalties. If this is the case, Spotify has most likely paid them but your music distributor hasn’t paid you.

You Haven’t Provided The Right Payment Information

Hopefully this isn’t the case, but if you haven’t entered your payment information correctly or you haven’t entered any at all, then you won’t have been paid. Don’t worry, this is easily resolved – just go to your profile information and update it. Depending on the service, some will offer PayPal, bank transfer or maybe even mail a cheque, it all depends on who you are with.

Spotify Pays Monthly

If you are checking for royalties mid way through a month, there is a chance the next reporting period hasn’t yet happened, so there won’t be any new money. It would be really cool if somehow it was implemented, but Spotify payments aren’t instant. It’s once per month.

How Much Does Spotify Pay?

Expect to be paid about $2.40 per 1000 streams you get. If you have a song on Spotify with 100,000 plays that will equate to about $240 in Spotify royalties. If you would like to read more about exactly how much Spotify pays, read my article here.

Conclusion – Spotify Pays Out Once Per Month

In general, you can bet on Spotify sending you royalties to your online music distribution service such as DistroKid about once per month. Usually they are pretty consistent and I can’t remember the last time they missed a month. As to when you exactly are able to withdraw the money from your music distributor, that’s up to them. Some services will let you withdraw instantly, and others pay all the royalties on one specific day, such as Soundrop.