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Spotify Paid Out a Record $4.5B to Independent Labels & Publishers in 2023

<div>Spotify Paid Out a Record .5B to Independent Labels & Publishers in 2023</div>

Spotify paid out nearly $4.5 billion to independent rights holders in 2023, or roughly half of the more than $9 billion the streaming service paid to all labels and publishers last year, the company announced Tuesday (Feb. 27).

The $4.5 billion total marks a new record for the indie sector (which includes DIY artists) and a four-times increase in the amount that independents generated on Spotify in 2017, according to the company. Spotify notes that $4.5 billion is bigger than the entire recorded music industry in every country in the world aside from the United States, citing IFPI’s 2023 global music report (based on 2022 figures).

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“In 2023, independent music’s historic achievement, generating nearly $4.5 billion on Spotify, underscores the transformative and democratizing impact of streaming, marking a milestone in the global accessibility and success of independent artists,” said Dr. Richard James Burgess, CEO of A2IM, in a statement.

As Billboard previously estimated, Spotify is likely the biggest source of music revenue globally, accounting for around 20% of label and publishing income worldwide based on a global value of music copyright estimated at more than $45 billion in 2023 (extrapolated from the $41.5 billion total estimated by music economist Will Page for 2022). That would mean Spotify’s payouts to indies alone comprised around 10% of the total value of music copyright worldwide last year.

The figures released by Spotify aren’t surprising when considering that independents’ share of the market has been growing each year. By label ownership, the indie sector made up more than one-third of the overall music business in 2023, according to figures released by Luminate, with a 35.74% share of the market, easily besting Universal Music Group’s 29.35%.

Despite competition from deep-pocketed rivals like Apple Music and Amazon Music, Spotify remains the largest music subscription platform worldwide. MIDiA Research’s Q3 2023 Global Music Subscription Market report released earlier this month put Spotify at a 31.7% share of the total global streaming market with 226 million subscribers worldwide. That puts it far ahead of rivals including Tencent Music Entertainment (102.7 million), Apple Music (89.8 million), Amazon Music (78.9 million) and YouTube Music (69.1 million). For its part, Spotify reported 236 million subscribers in its fourth quarter earnings report on Feb. 6.

By Michael

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