Pitchfork’s article about ‘how musicians are fighting for streaming pay during the pandemic‘ isn’t new: it was originally published in June. However, after the site re-shared it on Twitter yesterday with some stats on classical violinist Tasmin Little’s earnings, it’s sparking debate.
There’s definitely something puzzling afoot. The article references a tweet from Little in May revealing that she was paid £12.34 (around $16.16) for six months of plays – “around 5-6 million streams” – on Spotify.
Here’s why we’re puzzled: according to the ‘2019-2020 Streaming Price Bible‘ data shared by artist-rights blog The Trichordist earlier this year, Spotify’s average per-stream rate (for a mid-sized independent label) was $0.00348 – so around $3,480 per million streams on average.
Tasmin Little’s 5-6m streams should have generated label payouts of between $17.4k and $20.9k. How that translates to just over sixteen dollars for the artist is… well, it’s certainly a spark for even more debate.
“Something is definitely going wrong but I have checked with my two main record companies and I don’t think the problem is there,” tweeted Little yesterday. “I know that publishers receive quite a bit. It’s a mystery and rather frustrating!”