Hainbach says his 1 million annual Spotify streams earned him $2,160 before tax

The musician lifts the veil on one of the burning questions about streaming payouts.

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Image: Hainbach via YouTube

Berlin-based electronic composer Hainbach has detailed his earnings from the 1 million streams he’s garnered from Spotify this year.

Breaking down the data in a thread on X/Twitter, Hainbach shares that one of the main drivers behind the numbers is his instrumental track The Guide.

“Since I released it in 2020 it has gathered 560,000 views, and stills finds about 12,000 listens per month,” he writes.

“Another surprise hit was The Wooden from my album Voice Magnetic on Seil Records with 116,000 listens in 6 months. I made this with the most hated-on instrument of recent times, the Teenage Engineering Choir.”

As for the, ahem, million dollar question, ‘How much do a million streams a year pay?’ Hainbach reveals that “It averages out at about $2160 a year or $180 per month for me, before tax. Nothing to sneeze at, it covers my utilities bill.”

That said, the musician adds that Bandcamp or going to a live show is “still the best way to support me and other artists”.

Spotify has long come under fire for its modest payouts to musicians, with “Weird Al” Yankovic putting the streaming service’s artist payout system on blast this week on his Spotify Wrapped video.

“It’s my understanding that I had over 80 million streams on Spotify this year,” Yankovic said in the clip. “So, if I’m doing the math right that means I earned $12. Enough to get myself a nice sandwich at a restaurant. So, from the bottom of my heart, thanks for your support, and thanks for the sandwich.”

Last month, Spotify announced that it would phase out operations in Uruguay after the country passed a law requiring “equitable renumeration” for artists.

Citing the new law’s ambiguity as the primary reason behind its cessation of operations in the country, the streaming giant said that “changes that could force Spotify to pay twice for the same music would make our business of connecting artists and fans unsustainable.”

“Without clarity on the changes to music copyright laws included in the 2023 Rendición de Cuentas law – confirming that any additional costs are the responsibility of rights holders – Spotify will unfortunately begin to phase out its service in Uruguay effective January 1, 2024, and fully cease service by February,” says the company.


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