music charts

The Benefits of Spotify to Musicians


What is Spotify?

Spotify brings you the right music for every moment – on computers, mobiles, tablets, home entertainment systems, cars, gaming consoles and more.

Just search for music you love, or let Spotify play you something great. Create and listen to your playlists for free or subscribe to Premium for on-demand access at the highest audio quality – with zero ads.


  • Subscribers: From 20 million premium subscribers (June 2015) to Over 50 million paying (9.99) users (as of March 2017)
  • Active users: From 75 Million users (June 2015) to Over 100 million (as of June 2016)
  • Revenue paid to rightsholders: $5 billion (as of September 2016)
  • Number of catalogued songs: Over 30 million
  • Number of playlists: Over 2 billion
  • Available in 60 markets – Andorra, Argentina, Austria, Australia, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Honduras, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Monaco, New Zealand, Netherlands, Nicaragua, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Singapore, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Turkey, UK, Uruguay and USA.
  • Rivals: Apple Music which reached the 20 million paid user mark in December 2016. Tidal (owned by rapperJay Z which reached 3 million March 2016. Soundcloud new subscription service (4.99-9.99) not yet reporting accurate numbers. // New Amazon Prime Music // Google Music //
  • Future: Hi-Fi music tier is rumored which will increase the charges by $5 per month making it $14.99 paid service.  (Aside from the already family premium membership $14.99 - for up to six users)

Benefits of Spotify for Indie Artists

Streaming platforms offer exposure to new music lovers at the exact time they are seeking music. It's important for an artist to focus on delivering their work to people who are actively seeking music of your mico-niche.

Streaming is turning out to be a bonanza for the music industry, if the latest numbers from the Recording Industry Association of America are to believed.

Total U.S. retail sales hit $7.7 billion (U.S.) in 2016, representing 11.4% year-over-year growth – the largest single-year gain for the industry in almost two decades. The majority of that growth came from streaming services such as Spotify and Apple Music, which now provide more than 50% of the industry’s revenue.

Music streaming overall, including free services, saw 68% growth last year compared with the year before. Subscription services did even better, with revenue improving by 114% to $2.5 billion.

The results go a long way to fulfilling the promise that the likes of Spotify have been making for years – that, given enough time and scale, streaming can be even more lucrative to the music industry than their previous distribution systems.

Playlist Strategy

This year, A.V.A Live Radio is going to be structuring active playlists on more than just Soundcloud. We have assigned a team to Curate and Promote music playlists on Spotify, Soundcloud, Reverbnation and Youtube. If you want to become a part of our playlist program, reach out to Jaime at the office.

We have seen many playlists break a hit single by what I call layering. Layering carries a new single from one market to another and can cross oceans by introducing streams to Europe and the US without conventional support by local radio stations. All of these streams are considered plays on the same charting system and Spotify plays a far more impactful roll in the total number of streams than car radio ever could.

Developing a playlist promotion strategy is something I've been trying to introduce to my music community for a long time. I think it's not just a marketing plan, you should consider this as a division of your brand and dedicate resources to it's development. Your strategy should be to market music through playlists to both associate your style with other popular artists and market your playlists to a micro-niche audience. When you create a playlist based on theme or micro- genres you create a space that will continue to gain listeners as you continue to promote it. In addition, playlists encourage listeners to consume more content all the way through and when enjoyed that playlist becomes an experience for likely to be shared. 

Think of this marketing as a new form of radio promo for 2017. If your music is carefully curated into playlists, it can become a massive discovery engine of your music catalog. Think of your playlists as delivery systems attracting listeners in innovative ways by using titles and concepts to entice streams and shares of the list.

When creating your playlists, don't just stop at the surface list of "Your New Music" or "The Latest Album", go deeper with your strategy and think like a listener. Playlists are incredibly engaging because they don't just feature 1 artist, they become a sound track to your life for what ever you are doing. Structure your playlist catalogue by coming up with innovative concepts that serve your life and you'll start seeing those numbers grow.

I also recommend creating a page on your website where people can grab new playlists easily that your creating. This page then becomes a basis for a weekly or monthly newsletter that people can look forward to. It can also be sued to support the theme of your next album as you work at collecting a fan base of people inside that micro-niche.


Think of streaming as a dividend that pays you little amounts every time someone listens to your music. Those little bits can really add up especially if you are attracting paying subscribers to the platform. In the industry we are seeing such explosive growth in streaming that it's starting to surpass digital downloads and CD sales for unknowns as well as established artists. It just takes a while to see the financial gains and you have to make sure you have a sound tracking system on your catalogue.


Music Streaming Counts Towards Music Charts

Figuring out exactly how the world's official music charts are determined can be a complicated business, often with many different factors at play, including downloads, streaming, radio airplay and physical sales. To make things simpler, here's a quick overview of how the music charts are calculated around the world.

On-demand audio streaming has been factored into the U.S. Billboard charts since 2012.  In 2013 Billboard added YouTube streaming enhancing a complex formula for Billboard’s Hot 100, the preeminent singles chart, that now include on-demand audio/video streaming, digital downloads track sales, physical single sales, online radio streaming, and terrestrial radio airplay.  Never before have music fans had more of an influence on the chart’s rankings as they do today. In 2014 the UK added on-demand streams to it’s Top 40 singles chart.  100 streams will be weighed as the equivalent to one download or physical single in the chart compilation process.  Each song has to be streamed for 30 seconds to count as one stream.


How are the Official UK Charts calculated?

The Official UK Chart is calculated by both sales and streams, with a streaming ratio of 150:1. This means that 150 individual streams are equal to one sale, and your complete sales total is worked out accordingly.

For example, if your track gets 150,000 streams across the various online platforms like Spotify, they will be counted as 1,000 sales by the charts and included in your final sales total. Other sales include both paid digital downloads and physical releases.


How many sales do I need to get into the Official UK charts?

In recent years, the average UK Top 40 single will have made at least 8,000 sales, while the number one track will have sold around 100,000 copies. The figures for the Official UK album chart are similar, with the average top 40 album selling over 4,000, and the number one typically achieving sales of around 60,000.


How are the Billboard Charts calculated? 

The Billboard charts are calculated by several different factors, depending on the specific chart. For example, the Billboard Hot 100 and other genre-based charts take sales, streaming and radio airplay into account.

High-ranking tracks and albums can be driven by one or all of these different avenues, with some of the biggest songs charting thanks to extensive radio airplay, while others climb the charts through their streaming power.


How many sales do I need to get into the Billboard charts?

Billboard manages a wide range of charts based on a number of factors, including physical sales, digital downloads, radio airplay and streaming. As such, it is difficult to precisely estimate the number of “sales” you’ll need to break into any of Billboard charts. However, here you can find a detailed overview of how Billboard decide their rankings.


How are Australia’s ARIA Charts calculated?

The ARIA Charts in Australia consider streaming as well as physical and digital download sales, but have not disclosed the ratio to which streaming counts towards an artist’s sales total and chart position.

ARIA also state on their website that multiple sales by a single consumer may not be included in the sales total, and that it only accepts digital and streaming sales from certain retailers, including the biggest online major music stores. Here you can see the full list of accepted retails.


How many sales do I need to get into the ARIA charts?

While there isn’t a specific number of sales needed to break into the ARIA charts, it is known for being relatively easy to climb the rankings without thousands upon thousands of sales. The ARIA Charts recently laid claim to the lowest selling album ever to reach the number one spot in Australia, after selling as few as 2,140 copies. So logically, just a few hundred sales will give you a decent chance of being featured in the Australian charts.


Remember I'm promoting "Layering" as a strategy.  The key is to build up a following and promote your music as much as possible through press, social media, streaming live, internet radio interviews, magazine articles, music reviews, collaborations and gigs.


I'll of coarse be adjusting all the pages in our members community website as new statistics and information becomes available.