A Spotify trick that could make you $1,800 a month? Not a chance, its CEO says

Key Points
  • US banking analysts reportedly said people could make money by repeatedly streaming their own song on Spotify.
  • The theory was first reported in a UK newspaper and later shared on X.
  • Spotify’s CEO Daniel Ek says that’s not how Spotify’s payment system works.
Repeatedly streaming your own 30-second track on Spotify won’t make you $1,800 a month, the streaming giant’s CEO says.
The theory was first reported in British newspaper the Financial Times (FT) and later shared on X, formerly known as Twitter, by Canadian businessman Julian Klymochko.
The FT reported that analysts at US bank JPMorgan had calculated that if someone were to upload a 30-second track to Spotify and have it play on repeat 24 hours a day, they would make US$1,200 ($1,870) in royalties.
But Spotify CEO Daniel Ek said the theory was wide of the mark.

“If that were true, my own playlist would just be ‘Daniel’s 30-second Jam’ on repeat!,” Ek wrote in response to Klymochko.

Spotify pays out two kinds of royalties: recording and publishing, according to its website. The former is paid to artists via their record label or distributor, while the latter is paid to songwriters or owners of a composition.
“Contrary to what you might have heard, Spotify does not pay artist royalties according to a per-play or per-stream rate,” Spotify says on its website.

“The royalty payments that artists receive might vary according to differences in how their music is streamed or the agreements they have with labels or distributors.”

Spotify says it typically pays out royalties once a month. While it says it doesn’t pay per stream, Business Insider reported in 2021 that artists received between US$0.0033 ($0.0051) to US$0.0054 ($0.0084) per stream through their rights holders.
In its recent article, published on Saturday, the FT reported JPMorgan executives believe streaming farms – where large numbers of devices run apps like Spotify on repeat – are behind fake music streams. They estimate that up to 10 per cent of all streams are fake.

ÔÇťArtificial streaming is a longstanding, industry-wide issue that Spotify is working to stamp out across our service,” Spotify told the FT in May.

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