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Finnish pop musician earns mere pennies on Spotify

The highly popular music streaming service Spotify seems to offer musical artistes a smooth and easy channel to distribute their content and reap the resulting rewards. However one Finnish pop musician has gone public with his earnings – the returns aren’t what most would imagine.

Anssi Kela
Finnish singer-musician Anssi Kela says earnings from Spotify aren't what one might imagine. Image: Yle

Finnish pop artiste Anssi Kela has gone public with his earnings from content streamed via the popular commercial music streaming service Spotify.

Kela claims that on average he earns an underwhelming fraction of a cent for each song played via Spotify’s free service. The precise sum is 0.002 euros, or considerably less than one cent. For content streamed via the commercial service for paying customers, Kela’s earnings look more respectable – relatively speaking. The average payback for his commercial content is about 0.004 euros.

Kela pointed out however that Spotify compensation depends entirely on the royalty percentage defined in each artist’s recording contract. He added that his own royalty returns are clearly below the industry average, and speculated that average compensation settles at around one-tenth of a cent.

This year Kela racked up more than one million plays over a four-month period on Spotify for his hit "Restless Girl". He raked in a total of just over 2,300 euros.

Kela has previously criticised Spotify’s compensation to artists, more so the split between record labels and their performers.

He said that he chose to publicise his returns from the music streaming company precisely because others wouldn’t do so.

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