Spotify will implement a minimum number of streams for artist payment next year, a new report confirms.
Music Business Worldwide reports the Swedish streaming giant won't pay artists royalties for their music until each track hits 1,000 plays per year, confirming details of previously reported changes coming in 2024.
The new rules are "designed to [demonetize] a population of tracks that today, on average, earn less than five cents per month", or about 200 plays per month, according to MBW's sources. Spotify reportedly says that share is about .5% of their artist pool and predicts the new annual stream minimum would shift $40 million (USD) to the other 99.5% of artists on the platform.
A source told MBW that the change is in part because the "fractional payments – pennies or nickels" are "sitting idle in bank accounts". “Often, these micro-payments aren’t even reaching human beings", they said. "Aggregators frequently require a minimum level of [paid-out streaming royalties] before they allow indie artists to withdraw the money".
In addition to the now-confirmed yearly minimum play count for royalties, a number of upcoming changes have been reported on in the last month. First, plans for a "Super Premium" subscription tier leaked. The $19.99 (US) monthly fee would include lossless audio, larger audiobook listening allowances and AI playlist creation. More recent reports say Spotify will be focusing more on fraudulent activity, like detecting "illegitimate plays" and "stream farms", with fines for distributors. There'll also be a minimum time length requirement on "non-music 'noise' content".
In September, Spotify launched a tool for artists to pay for sponsored space on its homepage.
Spotify became the first streaming platform to hit 200 million paid subscribers earlier this year.