Spotify experimenting with fan payments

What you'll learn in this post:
  • What Spotify Fan Support is
  • What earning opportunities will be available on Spotify Live
  • The most interesting facts from the new Fan Study

As a fan, people can support their favorite artists on streaming platforms by following them, streaming their songs, and adding them to different playlists. But as iGroove Magazine has brought up multiple times, it is hardly possible to support these artists financially. Even if a fan listens to 100 of their favorite artist’s songs every month, only a few cents will get to them in the best-case scenario. It’s different with the Chinese streaming platforms, where direct payments from fans to artists make up a significant portion of the revenues. Now, Spotify, too, is taking their first steps in this direction.

Spotify Fan Support

In April of 2020, Spotify launched the “Artist Fundraising Pick” as a response to the COVID outbreak. With it, fans could support musicians or an organization that the artist in question had picked. It was used by around 200,000 artists. This tipping feature has now been renamed “Fan Support” and will thus be continued past the pandemic. How much it will be used by fans without getting anything out of it, remains to be seen.

Earning with Spotify Live

What could potentially be more promising are the sources of revenue planned for Spotify Live (formerly Spotify Greenroom). Artists will be able to set up their own “Live Audio Rooms” for their top fans and use it to sell merch, promote concert tickets, or receive tips from fans, as well. Spotify is thus trying to add features that are already working perfectly on Twitch or YouTube and that are a secure source of income for many creators.

However, it is also clear that for the time being, this is just an experiment. It remains to be seen how it will be received by the fans as well as the musicians. It is therefore not yet available for all artists, although you can apply for it if you’re interested.

It will certainly be interesting to see whether fan payments can take root within the Western streaming services, as well, and whether the features will be expanded in the future.

Spotify Fan Study update

Additionally, Spotify has recently published an update to their “Fan Study.” Here are some interesting facts we can learn from it:

  • Listeners worldwide streamed music from artists from an average of 14 countries per month. European users streamed music from as many as 16 countries on average.
  • 20.9% of songs that make it into the Spotify Charts do not originate from North America or Europe. Even though these two continents still very much dominate, their share is steadily decreasing. In 2020, only 15.2% of songs came from other parts of the world. In 2017, the number was as low as 9.5%.
  • International collaborations allow music to cross borders: if you work with artists from another country, an average of 84% of the streams will not come from your home country. For songs without a feature, foreign streams only reach 59.8%, and for tracks with a feature from the same country, the share only reaches 43.5%.
  • On average, 66% of an artist’s monthly listeners do not originate from that artist’s home country.
  • The biggest superfans are in Germany and South Korea. They stream their absolute favorite artists 63% and 46% more often than the world average, respectively.