If your music gets fewer than 1,000 streams, Spotify says you can kiss your pennies goodbye

Spotify has announced a major shift for 2024 : Time say farewell to royalties under 1,000 Streams.

Spotify is playing hard ball, and officially waving goodbye to royalties for tracks with less than 1,000 streams per year, starting in 2024.

It’s not just about the cold hard cash, though;  (okay, maybe it is) Spotify’s also taking a stand against streaming fraud and what they’re calling “functional noise.” 

Spotify and headphones
Photo – Getty Images

So, what’s the deal? Spotify says there are tons of songs, like “tens of millions” out of their whopping 100 million track library, barely hitting 1,000 streams annually. 

That’s just a tiny slice, around 0.5%, of the royalty pie. Crunch the numbers, and 1,000 streams usually bring in about $3.

Under the new plan, the moolah from those underperforming tracks won’t be wasted. Instead, it’s getting tossed into the royalty pool reserved for the big hitters with over 1,000 streams.

Spotify’s also not down with fake streams from bots or quickie “functional noise” tracks, like whale sounds or snappy ASMR bits. 

Come 2024, they’re slapping penalties on labels and distributors who try to game the system. They’re also giving these “functional noise” creators a bit of a challenge, upping the minimum length eligible for royalties from 30 seconds to two minutes. Oh, and they’re talking about paying out less for these quirky tunes, working with licensors to figure out a fair fraction of the value compared to a more regular tune.

While Spotify’s playing hardball, there’s still a bunch of stuff we’re in the dark about – like how they’ll spot these funky tunes and what the penalties will be. 

This has the music industry scratching its head over these changes, meanwhile let the music play and the royalties roll – just make sure it’s a thousand streams or more!