Looking to support artists (and labels), but enjoying streaming music for free on Spotify? Then perhaps you should invest in a subscription. While most of the 3 million users in America (80%) are opting for the free version, Spotify pays three times as much for a premium user. Digital music distributor Ditto Music has published a chart detailing what an artist gets paid per stream or download. Based on 2011 payouts, Spotify pays $0.0051 per free stream in the States, $0.0078 per unlimited stream and $0.0153 per premium stream. Given a standard $0.99 download on iTunes, a track would have to get streamed about 47 times to make an artist the same amount of revenue as the $0.71 that they’d get paid for one download – and that’s on premium. We’re talking about listening to a song 141 times to make an artist 71 cents on hte free streaming service.
Meanwhile, it’s been a little over a year since Spotify launched in the United States on July 14, 2011. In that time, Americans have streamed over 13 billion songs and shared 27,834,742 songs, with 55.3 % of those coming through Facebook. About 41% of sharing came through Spotify itself. The high number of Facebook shares is likely due to the fact that after September, listeners needed to log in with their Facebook account to use Spotify.